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Support out there for meningitis victims

Support out there for meningitis victims

Meningitis is every parent's worst nightmare. Once again it has struck our most vulnerable and no one knows where or whom it will strike next.

Five children have been diagnosed with the deadly infection and are currently in hospital in Wellington.

General Manager Fiona Colbert says "Knowing the signs is the best way to beat meningitis. Fast action saves lives. It is essential people know the symptoms of this killer disease and we are asking everybody to remain vigilant."

Each year hundreds of people get meningitis, many die; many more are left with devastating side effects. So far this year 47 people have contracted meningococcal disease, 4 of them have died. There have been many other types of bacterial meningitis, such as pneumococcal and up to about 15% of victims also tragically died.

Of those who survive meningitis, 25% will have been left with some form of disability such as deafness, brain damage, eyesight problem, loss of a limb, epilepsy, sore or stiff joints, balance problems and depression to name a few. We urge these people to call us for our support.

We also estimate that one in five cases of meningitis occur in adults over the age of 20. Be aware meningitis is still out there!

If you suspect you or someone you know has meningitis, contact your GP immediately, or go to the nearest hospital emergency department. Early treatment for meningitis is vital. Many sufferers make a full recovery with prompt treatment with antibiotics.
Meningitis and septicaemia (related blood-poisoning) may not always be easy to spot because the symptoms can be similar to those of 'flu.

If you have been affected by this devastating disease or would like more information on our current awareness campaign and are interested in helping us with our work please if you want to know more about meningitis, go to the Meningitis Trust's website at: www.meningitis-trust.org.nz

ends

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