New Irish research reveals the hidden impact of surviving meningitis

New Irish research reveals the hidden impact of surviving meningitis

20 March 2015

Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) has examined the psycho-social costs of surviving meningitis and septicaemia for patients and their families.

Counting the Cost of Meningitis is a comprehensive analysis of the psycho-social impact of the diseases on illustrative case studies. The information contained in these case studies was gathered from survivors of meningitis in Ireland and their families.

  • Billy was two years old when he was struck down with group B meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia (MenB) which left him with multiple cognitive and behavioural difficulties that impact his whole family
  • Mary was 47 years old when she became ill with pneumococcal meningitis which left her with severe hearing loss, chronic fatigue and memory problems. As a result she is unable to work, creating increased financial pressure for her family

These illnesses have far-reaching consequences for families with survivors facing an on-going need for specialist medical care as well as additional educational & financial support.

Bacterial meningitis and septicaemia affect approximately 200 people a year in Ireland, killing one in ten and leaving a quarter of survivors with life-long after effects. Few illnesses in Ireland can cause such mutilating injuries but only prevention through vaccination can fully eliminate these diseases

Diane McConnell, Ireland Manager of MRF said: “Our detailed research shows the impact of meningitis and septicaemia on those who survive (and their families), by exposing some of the hidden costs associated with these diseases. MRF has been supporting families affected for 25 years and our research highlights the need for ongoing support for people affected not only by MRF but also by the Health Service.

Another important element of our work is meningitis prevention and we are again calling on the Government to pursue the widest and earliest implementation of new meningitis vaccines to help reduce the disease burden in Ireland.”

Media contacts:

If you require any further information please contact Caroline O’Connor, Medical Information Officer, on 01 819 6931 or email: caroline@meningitis-ireland.org

Notes to the editor:

  • Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that can strike anyone without warning, killing one in ten, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life-long after effects. Few illnesses in Ireland can cause such mutilating injuries
  • Meningitis Research Foundation is currently funding 26 research projects into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia. The Foundation has spent over €22 million on research since its inception in 1989
  • Meningitis Research Foundation operates a Freefone helpline 365 days a year – 1800 41 33 44 – providing information on meningitis and septicaemia to the general public and health professionals and support for those affected by meningitis and septicaemia
  • Information on meningitis and septicaemia is also available on this website in 22 languages


Sam Williams
Media Relations Manager

Hi, I’m Sam and I’m MRF's PR Manager.

If you want to know more about this story call me on 0333 405 626251, out of office hours on 07875 498047 or email me

samanthaw@meningitis.org