A viral meningitis warning has been issued after Chelsea and England footballer, Daniel Sturridge, has been hospitalised with suspected viral meningitis this week. The Meningitis Trust is urging people to look out for the symptoms and act quickly if they suspect the disease as the summer months are considered 'peak season' for viral meningitis, with the majority of cases happening during this time.
Most cases of viral meningitis cannot be prevented by vaccinations and can often be mistaken for more common illnesses like flu. Every year in the UK around 5,000 people contract the disease, which can leave people with severe headaches, extreme tiredness, loss of hearing, depression and memory loss, plus many other serious after-effects.
Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust, says; "Although viral meningitis is rarely life-threatening, it can leave people very ill and in need of lots of rest. The after-effects from the disease can be pretty debilitating, so we would urge Daniel - if it is confirmed as viral meningitis - to take time to recover and not rush back to the football pitch".
Sue continues; "Viral meningitis doesn't respond to antibiotics, but it still requires urgent admission to hospital because until tests confirm that the meningitis is viral, there is every chance it could be the more serious bacterial meningitis, which can kill within hours".
For more information on meningitis symptoms and to get a free credit-card sized symptoms card, visit www.meningitis-trust.org, call the Meningitis Trust's 24-hour nurse-led helpline on 0808 80 10 388 or download its free app from www.meningitisapp.co.uk.
This week the Meningitis Trust launched its viral meningitis survey on its website - seeking to understand more about people's experience of the disease. The charity is asking anyone who's been affected by viral meningitis to log on to www.meningitis-trust.org to take the survey. The results will be used to inform the public and health professionals about the impact of viral meningitis.
Meningitis symptoms (may appear in any order, some may not appear at all)
Fever, cold hands & feet
Drowsy, difficult to wake
Confusion and irritability
Severe muscle pain
Pale, blotch skin
Spots or a rash
Dislike bright lights
Convulsions and seizures
About the Meningitis Trust
The Meningitis Trust started in 1986 and, since then, has supported people as they face life after meningitis. It provides the widest range of free services and community-based support for people affected by meningitis across the UK, and raises awareness of the disease and funds research into its long-term impact.
Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It can strike quickly and kill within hours - its impact can last a lifetime. Each year in the UK there are about 3,400 cases of bacterial meningitis (an average over 10 years) and an estimated 5,000 cases of viral. Up to 500,000 people in the UK have had meningitis. Those most at risk are children under five, young people (15 to 24) and adults over 55.
For more information visit the website www.meningitis-trust.org, call 0808 80 10 388 or download its free app at www.meningitisapp.co.uk.
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