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52% Increase in Bacterial Meningitis in 2017

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 14/12/2017. 52% Increase in Bacterial Meningitis in 2017Tags: Parenting

In light of recent alarming figures released by the HSPC (Health surveillance protection Centre) national support and awareness charity ACT for Meningitis
urge people to make themselves aware of the signs and symptoms of Meningitis especially during these winter months

CEO Siobhan Carroll states; "the worrying figures released this week from the HSPC highlights the importance of knowing the signs and symptoms of meningitis as a vital defense against this devastating disease".

Meningitis awareness saved the life of 21 month old Dylan Finlay ,as told by is parents Caitrion and Geoff.

"Dylan woke around midnight and was talking in his sleep, or so we thought, however he sounded very delirious. We entered the room to find him jerking and shaking in his cot. When we picked him up we saw the whites of his eyes were yellowish. He also had a slight temperature. He seemed very distraught and delirious. We called our out of hours doctor and upon arrival at the clinic Dylan had seemed to perk up a little. The Doctor never suspected anything too untoward, and Dylan did seem well enough at the check up not to suspect anything serious. However, not long after leaving Dylan's symptoms began to escalate and he began vomiting in the car.

We thought he may have the vomiting bug, so we took him home, but he became very unwell thereafter. He became delirious, did not recognise us and soon became unresponsive, his heart rate was extremely rapid. A family member contacted us to see if he might be displaying signs of Meningitis or Septicaemia. We soon saw a black dot on the lower lid of Dylan's eye, and soon after noticed a dark purple rash that was spread all over his body which did not fade under the glass when we checked.

Only when a family member contacted us with the signs did we really think the worst could be happening. If they hadn't done so, I think we may have had a much worse outcome. When you are busy and tired comforting a severely sick young child who can't tell you what's wrong, you play the guessing game. Not once did we think it could be Bacterial Meningitis. When we realised what was happening we just acted immediately.

All we can add is that we were scared, and it was extremely hard watching our child go through such pain. We cannot thank everyone enough who supported us, and the medical teams who helped our son through his traumatic time. We are so grateful to have had a happy ending to our nightmare. The importance of awareness is everything, with our busy lives we don't always see the obvious. If anyone suspects anything worrying in regards to symptoms, their voice could be what saves someone's life. Don't hold back, speak up! Dylan spent two weeks in hospital recovering.
Both physically and cognitively Dylan seems to be perfect. He does have some dark markings and lumps on his body from the rash, but in time it is hoped that these will begin to fade. His skin also seems to be a little more sensitive, but other than that he is doing amazingly all things considered.

We are just so happy that Dylan had a great outcome, as we know that so many families have tragically lost loved ones.If my sister had not text me the signs and symptoms from the ACT for Meningitis awareness card, things could have been very different for my 21 month old son Dylan.

If you do only one thing today download the free ACT for Meningitis awareness APP:



Meningitis is a serious disease in which there is an inflammation of the lining around the spinal cord and the brain, caused by viral or bacterial infection. Viral meningitis is rarely life-threatening ,but can leave you with lifelong after-effects. Bacterial however, has a higher incidence of fatality and has many strains caused by many different bacteria.
The symptoms may be difficult to spot as many of the early symptoms can be similar to those of a flu, so we ask people to TRUST THEIR INSTINCTS and if they suspect Meningitis , seek medical help immediately.

The signs of Meningitis can include vomiting, fever, headache, stiff neck, dislike to bright lights, severe muscle pain, confusion. In babies being irritable, refusing to feed, high pitched crying , rapid breathing and cold hands and feet, bulging soft spot on head...

A rash that does not fade under pressure is caused by septicaemia, but you should never wait for the rash as it can be a very late sign or may never appear.

Time is of the utmost importance. Meningitis can strike so quickly and can kill within hours.

Source: ACT Press Release


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