World Meningitis Day falls on 24th April each year and helps to raise awareness of this life threatening illness. Globally there are estimated to be 2.5 million new cases every year. Meningitis can strike anyone at any age and develops quickly, sometimes causing death in under 24 hours, and it is therefore vital that people know the signs and symptoms to look out for and act fast.

This year, Meningitis Research Foundation and partners are calling on everyone to Take Action to #DefeatMeningitis.

Firstly, what is it? Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, or non-infectious means such as cancer, but it is important to know that all forms of meningitis are classed as a medical emergency. Look out for the signs below:

Vaccines are the best tool for prevention and can help protect both yourself and those around you. So much so, that since the UK’s introduction of the MenB vaccine in 2015, the number of cases has reduced by 75%.

However, there have been disruptions in the delivery of vaccines due to Covid-19 which has put an increased amount of people at risk. The number of meningitis cases are expected to rise following the easing of lockdown restrictions when people start to gather again. Knowing the signs is now even more important because not all cases are vaccine preventable and early recognition saves lives.

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Freeths Oxford are proud to be Meningitis Research Foundation’s exclusive legal partner in the south east and to support them in making progress to defeat Meningitis.

If you or a member of your family have suffered an injury or if you have lost a loved one as a result of meningitis or septicaemia and you are concerned with the standard of treatment received, then our specialist medical negligence solicitors may be able to help. Please contact a member of our national clinical negligence team for a free, confidential discussion: