What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges).


Meningitis can be very serious if not treated quickly. It can cause life threatening blood poisoning (septicaemia) and result in permanent damage to the brain or nerves.


Know the facts about meningitis

  • Meningococcal meningitis can lead to death within 24 hours after symptoms first appear, or cause significant permanent disabilities.
  • Early symptoms may resemble the flu, making the disease difficult to diagnose.
  • Infants, young children, adolescents and young adults have the highest incidence of meningococcal meningitis.
  • It is possible to carry and spread meningococcal bacteria without ever showing symptoms of the disease.
  • Almost 1 in 5 adolescents and young adults carry the bacteria.

Common Symptoms of meningitis

If you have any of the above symptoms and suspect you may have meningitis or septicaemia you can get a lot worse very quickly. Seek medical help immediately.


Who is most at risk?

Some people carry and spread the bacteria that cause meningococcal meningitis, without showing any symptoms of the disease. The infection is usually spread by the people who carry the bacteria in their nose or throat, but aren't ill themselves.


Risk of contracting Meningococcal Meningitis varies from year to year, by your age, and by the country you live in or travel to.


Those particularly at risk include:

  • Infants and young babies (0-4 years of age)
  • Adolescents and young adults (15-24 years of age)
  • Older adults (60+ years of age)
  • Travellers (All ages)
  • People who are immunocompromised (All ages)

Get protected today at your local Rowlands Pharmacy*

Step 1: Contact your local Rowlands Vaccination Pharmacy*

Step 2: Drop into your local Rowlands Vaccination Pharmacy, complete a patient consent form and discuss any questions you may have with your specially trained pharmacist.

Step 3: Have the vaccination, additional follow up vaccinations may be required.


Potential complications may include:

  • Limb amputation
  • Skin scarring
  • Epilepsy
  • Vision or hearing impairment
  • Mental & motor skill impairment

No single vaccine covers all of the most common types of meningococcal meningitis.

There are approved vaccines for 5 groups of bacteria that cause meningococcal disease. These include one vaccine covering A, C, W, Y groups, and one vaccine covering the B group.

At least two vaccines are needed. **


For more information and to find your nearest participating Rowlands Pharmacy



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