Symptoms Checker for Young Adults

  • Fever and / or vomiting 
  • Severe headache
  • Limb, joint and muscle pain
  • Cold hands and feet, shivering
  • Pale
  • Breathing fast, breathless
  • Rush
  • Stiff neck
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Very sleepy, difficult to wake, vacant 
  • Confused, delirious
  • Seizures (fits) 
Septicaemia can occur with or without meningitis. Not everyone gets all the symptoms and they can appear in any order.

Share our awareness message with your friends and look out for one another. Don’t assume an illness is a hangover or flu. Learn the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia and if you think a friend or housemate is ill, check up on them regularly, trust your instincts and seek medical help fast if you are worried.

What are meningitis and septicaemia?

Meningitis is inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord – the meninges. Septicaemia is blood poisoning caused by the same germs and is the more life threatening form of the disease. Septicaemia can occur with or without meningitis.

The tumbler test

If you are seriously worried about someone who is ill, don’t wait for a rash to appear – get medical help. But if they are already ill and get a new rash or spots, use the Tumbler Test.

Press a clear glass tumbler firmly against the rash. If you can see the marks clearly through the glass seek urgent medical help immediately.

Check the entire body. Look out for tiny red or brown pin-prick marks which can change into larger red or purple blotches and blood blisters.

The darker the skin the harder it is to see a septicaemic rash so check lighter areas like the palms of hands and soles of feet or look inside the eyelids and the roof of the mouth.

Remember, a very ill person needs medical help even if there are only a few spots, a rash or no rash at all.

If you have any concerns please ring the freephone helpline.

UK 080 8800 3344
ROI 1800 41 33 44

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Membership and support

The MRF Membership and Support team are here for you for any questions you might have about meningitis and septicaemia and their effects on you, or your family and friends.

Tel: Helpline UK 080 8800 3344 Ireland 1800 41 33 44

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