Saturday 7 July 2012

Viral Meningitis Warning As Footballer Taken Ill

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.orgcall the Meningitis Trust's 24-hour nurse-led helpline on 0808 80 10 388 or download its free app from  

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 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 
Severe headache 
Stiff neck 
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.

About meningitis 
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, call 0808 80 10 388 or download its free app at

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  1. Its such an awful illness - the more publicity the better! A friends little brother had it but thankfully he recovered, though it affected his hearing. Thanks for posting xoxo

    1. I must admit, I didn't know much about it, which is why I thought I'd share the press release. Forewarned is forearmed and all that. Sorry to hear about your friend's brother xx

  2. I didn't realise that this existed!

  3. Thank you for highlighting this. My son, who is now 15, became seriously ill during his first year in high school. He was initially diagnosed with the flu, but we eventually were told he had viral meningitis. Many people are not aware this exists and it is so important to be fully aware of the signs and symptoms of this illness. Thankfully my son made a full recovery x

    1. Glad to hear he had no lasting damage - I'm amazed how many of you have been confronted by this, I'd never heard of it ! :-/

  4. Having seen my nephew poorly for a week before Meningitis was diagnosed and successfully treated I can understand how difficult it can be to distinguish between a virus and the early stages of this horrible illness. I am now very wary and vigilant when my kids are poorly.


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