Meningitis is spread through close contact and new figures from Public Health England Meningococcal Reference Unit show that cases of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia dropped significantly in England and Wales during lockdown – currently at less than a third of cases compared to the same months in previous years. However, as restrictions ease, cases are expected to rise.
This Meningitis Awareness Week, Jamini is supporting Meningitis Research Foundation to warn people not to be complacent. Cases are expected to rise as people socialise again, and as we move into the winter season which is when we see the peak in yearly cases.
Jamini and her husband, Garry.
Fortunately Jamini survived, but lockdown created additional difficulties. ‘All of my follow up and physio appointments were put on hold,’ she said: ‘I had to teach myself to walk again, to use my wrists again, to try and get back to normal.’
Jamini continues to suffer after effects of meningitis, including limb pain, severe fatigue and headaches. ‘I don’t talk about it because I don’t want people to think differently of me, but I am different,’ she said. ‘Nobody talks about meningitis, but it can happen to anyone. It could’ve happened to someone sat right next to you, and you’d never know because not all after effects can be seen straight away.’
‘The invisible after effects of meningitis and septicaemia are life changing,’ said Rob Dawson, Director of Communications, Advocacy and Support at Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF). ‘Jamini has been through a life changing ordeal, but you would never know that unless she told you. We’re working to defeat meningitis wherever it exists to help people like Jamini.’