A family from Poole in Dorset is supporting MRF's new Christmas appeal and winter awareness campaign. Three months ago, Stephanie and Scott King’s little baby daughter Margaux was only seven weeks old when she fell suddenly ill.
Little Margaux was just 7 weeks old and seemed ok in the day leading up to becoming ill. Stephanie says: “Margaux slept more than usual that day but as she was so young I assumed she was just growing. I went to give her a late evening feed but I couldn’t wake her as usual and I noticed she was quite hot. Her temperature was a little high but I assumed it was just from where she had been cosy and asleep.”
“At 3am I woke up as she usually wakes around then for a feed, but she was sound asleep. I could feel the heat radiate from her crib so I took her temperature and it was 39 degrees. It was at this moment I didn't even hesitate and took her to the hospital. When we got to A&E, my baby was a deep dark, mottled purple colour.”
Doctors gave the baby antibiotics, did an immediate lumbar puncture which confirmed she had meningitis but could not confirm viral or bacterial for 48 hours. A rash only appeared on Margaux’s body the third day after she fell ill. From the lumbar puncture results, doctors confirmed this it was viral meningitis, so they stopped the antibiotics and Margaux recovered ten days later.
While viral meningitis is not deadly like the bacteria form of the disease, it can be very traumatic for those affected, with prolonged recovery periods and the possibility of some neurological problems later.
It is thought that viral forms of meningitis are more common than the deadly bacterial type of meningitis, but as many cases of viral meningitis recover without treatment, estimating the number of cases is difficult.