Let’s tackle it together.

Understand the risks

Meningitis strikes quickly and often leaves people with life-long effects, like hearing loss and amputations.

For some, it’s deadly. No one thing can prevent meningitis but the better you understand the risks, the better you will be able to help protect your family.

WHO IS AT RISK?

Who is at risk of meningitis?

Anyone can be affected by this potentially deadly disease but there are two groups that are at higher risk:

Babies, toddlers and young children

Of all age groups, newborn babies are at the highest risk of meningitis

why

...are babies, toddlers and children at higher risk?

Their immune system (which helps them fight infection) is less developed than older age groups

 

BABIES UNDER 3


MONTHS ARE 70X MORE


LIKELY TO GET


BACTERIAL MENINGITIS


THAN ADULTS


baby graphic

Teenagers and young adults

Teenagers and young adults are particularly at risk of meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria

why

...are teenagers and young adults at risk?

They are more likely to have meningococcal bacteria living in the back of their nose and throat. This can then be spread through close contact with other teens and young adults with no natural immunity

 

1 IN 4 TEENAGERS


AGED 15–19 YEAR OLDS


ARE MENINGOCOCCAL


BACTERIA CARRIERS


teen graphic
WHAT MENINGITIS MEANS

What is meningitis?

Meningitis means inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and the spinal cord.
There are many different causes of meningitis in the UK. The most common causes of meningitis are bacteria and viruses.

Bacterial meningitis

bacteria

Many different bacteria can cause meningitis

Single Vaccine

No single vaccine protects against all causes of bacterial meningitis

bacteria splat

Meningococcal bacteria are the most common cause of meningitis in the UK

ambulance

Needs urgent treatment as it can be deadly and life-changing

Septicaemia

Can lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning)

5 bacteria splats

Main disease-causing groups of meningococcal bacteria:
A, B, C, W, Y

1 IN 20 CASES OF MENINGOCOCCAL MENINGITIS RESULT IN DEATH, WITH HIGHER


RATES IN TEENAGERS AND YOUNG ADULTS

Viral meningitis

viruses

Many different viruses can cause meningitis

Vaccination

There is no specific vaccine but some routine vaccinations can help prevent viral meningitis

Call 111

Need to seek help urgently because symptoms are similar to bacterial meningitis

Kissing

Effects can be life-changing rather than life-threatening with a slow recovery

Bacterial Meningits

More common than bacterial meningitis

spread

Doesn’t normally spread from one person to another

ABOUT 6,000 PEOPLE GET VIRAL MENINGITIS EACH YEAR IN THE UK

HOW IS IT SPREAD?

How are meningitis-causing infections spread?

sneeze

Sneezing

Cough

Coughing

Kissing

Kissing

Sharing Cutlery

Sharing cutlery, toothbrushes, drinks & straws

How can I help tackle meningitis?