Many people unfortunately still believe that meningitis only affects babies and young children.
This is not the case. Meningitis can affect anyone, of any age, at any time; it can strike quickly and kill within hours.
Facts about meningitis in adults
- Meningitis can strike at any time, regardless of health, gender, age, race or class.
- People over 55 are at an increased risk of meningitis as our immune systems weaken as we get older.
- 10% of cases of bacterial meningitis will result in death.
- Adults can suffer the same after-effects from meningitis as children, such as brain damage, hearing and sight loss, and where septicaemia (blood poisoning) has occurred, loss of limbs, scarring and organ damage.
- A pneumococcal vaccine is offered to all over 65s in the UK. If you have not been offered this vaccine, you can ask for it at your GP surgery or Health Centre.
Signs and symptoms
- Request our FREE credit-card sized signs and symptoms card to keep in your purse or wallet – call our Meningitis Helpline on 0808 80 10 388 to get yours
Concerned about meningitis?
If you think someone has meningitis or septicaemia, get medical help immediately.
- If you live on your own, always make sure you tell someone if you are not feeling well. They can check up on you and take action if needed.
- Trust your instincts. You know your loved ones, and your own body, best.
- Describe the symptoms and say you think it could be meningitis or septicaemia.
- Early diagnosis can be difficult. If you have had medical advice and are still worried, get medical help again.