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Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord and can become very serious. Meningitis is often associated with septicaemia, otherwise known as blood poisoning, which can also be extremely serious.
It is spreads through the air by coughing sneezing or with direct contact of the respiratory secretions of an infected person.
Although most people recover from the disease, some are left deaf or blind, and in others it may prove fatal. One of the biggest problems with meningitis is that it can develop very quickly. A child (or adult) can seem perfectly well and then, just a few hours later, be extremely ill with the disease. Another problem is that the symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from other, less serious infections.
Cold hands and feet, fever, headache, abnormal skin colour, leg pains, aching muscles/joints, stomach pain, pupuric purple red rash (which does not disappear if pressed with a glass tumbler)