Meningitis is a terrifying disease for all parents. The Meningitis Trust have some sound advice for any worried parents.
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Nina Sebastiane: Meningitis is a word that strikes fear into all parents. And while the disease can be fatal, parents can get their child, the very best chance of making a full recovery. By being alert, to the signs and the symptoms. Julia Fenn from the Meningitis Trust, is here today, along with Fiona and her son Jude, who survived his battle with this terrible infection. Welcome to the show to the three of you. Fiona can you just briefly give us Jude’s story. Fiona Robertson: Yes, it happened in January and he -- we thought he had flu. He was a bit off color for about, a day and then overnight he was finally sick continually pretty much. So we took him to the hospital because it was New Year's day and he was in A&E for seven hours and we thought it might be Gastroenteritis. Nina Sebastiane: So did they do all sorts of tests? Fiona Robertson: No, not really they tried to hydrate him that was the main thing. But they didn’t really give him any test because we found after, they might have given him lumbar puncture, that he was so hydrated, but they didn’t. And then they admit him that night, and then he just -- he went down here, very quickly and he runs into intensive caring Nina Sebastiane: Oh! Bunny is dropped, but that's alright. Fiona Robertson: In guys the next day and yes, meningitis was diagnosed about three days later. Nina Sebastiane: So it took quite a while from -- you first diagnosed something being wrong to then, saying okay, this is meningitis, this is what we can do to treat it. Now Julia is that common? Julia Fenn: I am afraid it is, it’s as mysteriously difficult disease to diagnose in the early stages. But symptoms can seem like colds, flu, and students that can seem like a hang over. If you have terrible headache that's often one of the facts, and people just don't ask the question, what we are trying to say to people is if in any diagnose, get yourself some medical help, get stand to A&E with your liquid GP, but just don’t waste any time and it also, it applies obviously to parents and individual here, looking out for yourself and your children and your friends. It just is something that even experienced medics, I am sure, they would agree that it does still get missed sometimes and time is of the essence. Nina Sebastiane: How common is it in this country? Julia Fenn: Meningitis isn’t that common an illness compared with a cancer or leukemia. But it acts very-very quickly and it can be fatal. So in a year on average the statistics of hazardous, about 3000 reported cases but medical experts reckon that's just half the picture and lot of -- particularly viral meningitis which is generally, the less serious type of meningitis isn’t reported, because people feel pretty unwell like flu for may be, few weeks or a month and then, they get better without sort of prescribed treatment, it’s like rest and fluids and paracetamol, it’s the bacterial form that’s really very serious. Nina Sebastiane: So it’s the bacterial one that’s more serious and it can be fatal. Julia Fenn: Yes it can. Nina Sebastiane: Are there particular groups that are at risk, for example babies? Julia Fenn: Yeah, exactly right. The most common occurrence is in children under 12 months. But it’s really to nod to five. And that’s because very young children and babies immune systems hopefully develop, so they don’t have that resistance. Also is what we have to say, that the very elderly for a different reason at that stage in your life, you might be quite frail and have immune deficiency and in students and young people 18-24 are the next most at risk after babies. Nina Sebastiane: So Fiona, looking like he is a having a great time down there, please make him feel very at home. He is enjoying Barbie at that little prop set, that's fantastic. It’s the best use, we have had out to that. So Fiona, how do you think you got it, have you any idea how meningitis came out. Fiona Robertson: Absolutely, no idea when we were speaking to the doctors when he w