Meningitis is a swelling inflammation of the thin membranes that cover the brain and the spinal cord. These membranes are called the meninges. Meningitis is most often caused by a bacterial or viral infection that moves into the cerebral spinal fluid CSF. CSF is the fluid that protects and cushions the brain and spinal cord. A fungus or parasite may also cause meningitis.
Meningitis in Children
DO NOT wait for a rash. If a child is ill and getting worse, get medical help immediately. Pale, blotchy skin. Everyone is at risk; however, teenagers - particularly first year university students - and young people are the second most at-risk group. Download more information about meningitis in teenagers and young people. A rash that does not fade under pressure is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia, do the glass test.
Symptoms Checker for Young Adults
Teens and young adults are at increased risk for meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is a very serious illness where death can occur in as little as a few hours. These vaccines help prevent the most common causes of meningococcal disease in the United States. The booster dose at 16 years old gives teens continued protection during the ages when they are at highest risk. Younger children and adults usually do not need meningococcal vaccines.
Two doses of the meningococcal shot called MenACWY are recommended for preteens and teens by doctors as the best way to protect against meningococcal disease. Teens may also get a MenB shot, preferably at ages years. Multiple doses are needed for best protection. The meningococcal shots are safe and effective at preventing meningococcal disease. Vaccines like any medicine, can have side effects.