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6 Symptoms To Help Identify Meningitis | Debary Personal Injury Lawyer

6 Symptoms To Help Identify Meningitis

New research reveals symptoms that will enable parents and doctors to distinguish meningitis from milder illnesses.

Meningitis can be very difficult to diagnose in the early stages, according to the Meningitis Research Foundation, as the first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell, just like many mild illnesses. New findings from a MRF-funded study reveal that six symptoms: limb pain, a rash, stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, confusion, and cold hands and feet can help differentiate meningitis from other flu-like illnesses.

Meningitis is an infection caused by bacteria or a virus, which damages the protective membranes that surround the spinal cord and brain.

The condition can, in some cases, lead to cerebral palsy, amputation, deafness or another long term injury if it is not treated urgently.

Previous MRF funded research has shown that half of children with meningococcal disease (the leading cause of childhood meningitis in the UK and Republic of Ireland) are not identified the first time they go to the doctor to get medical help.

Early detection is imperative as this disease progresses quickly; a healthy baby, child or adult can become seriously ill within a matter of hours.

“This is a significant move forward to enable early recognition of these diseases, said Chris Head, MRF chief executive, in a press release. “However, not everyone with meningitis gets all the symptoms. Children with meningitis may not get a rash. That’s why it’s important for parents to trust their instincts and not be deterred from seeking medical help again if their child gets worse after being seen by a doctor.”

The study recruited a total of 1212 children aged under 16 years presenting to their GP with an acute illness, of whom 924 had an acute self-limiting infection, including 407 who were reported by parents to be febrile. Symptom frequencies were compared with those reported by parents of 345 children with meningococcal disease. Main outcome measures were diagnostic characteristics of individual symptoms for meningococcal disease.

For more on children’s health issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach child injury lawyer.

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