Why Meningitis Awareness Week matters

September 2018

Meningitis Awareness Week aims to improve public understanding of meningitis and septicaemia. A recent study has revealed that around 40% of UK adults do not believe they know what meningitis even is – a worrying statistic which highlights that lack of understanding.

Meningitis can be deadly. It acts fast, is hard to detect, and can strike at any age. The symptoms vary and can look different in each individual. Whilst some vaccines are available, no single vaccine can prevent against every type of meningitis.

Unfortunately, even when people do have this knowledge, it isn’t always enough. Our research has revealed that in 49% of cases, people with meningitis are being sent back home following their first visit to a GP.

When her 9 month old daughter Amy became ill, Kirstie Walkden did everything we would recommend. Vigilant to the signs of infection she took her daughter to the doctor, where they were referred on to hospital. Once there, Amy was wrongly diagnosed with an ear infection, and the family was sent back home.

Over the following hours Amy’s condition worsened. Although she’d been told it was an ear infection, Kirstie’s parental instincts were telling her it was something more. Fortunately Kirstie trusted her instincts and rushed Amy back to the hospital, where she was diagnosed and treated for meningitis.

Thanks to her quick actions, Amy recovered and is now doing really well. This Meningitis Awareness Week, we’re raising awareness of “safety netting” – the process to follow if a child’s condition worsens following a visit to medical professionals. Below, Kirsty tells us why this is so important to her.

We hope you’ll join us in our supporting our work this Meningitis Awareness Week. It really could save lives.
Are you concerned?
Are you concerned?
If your child is ill and getting worse fast, our safety net resources could help.
Meningitis and septicaemia are serious, life threatening illnesses
Since the charity was founded in 1989, we have awarded 161 research grants. The total value of our investment in vital scientific research is over £19.1 million (€24.7 million).
You don’t need to face meningitis and sepsis alone
A global vision for meningitis by 2030 and an action plan to get there.

About the author

Holly Edwards
Senior Communications Officer

Hi, I'm Holly, and I joined MRF in 2017.

I'm always looking for stories that will help more people understand meningitis and the devastating impact it can have. Working with people who have been affected by meningitis is a great privilege, and I feel very lucky to do what I do.

Tel: 0333 405 6255
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