A classic symptoms of meningitis is a blotchy rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it, but this doesn’t appear in many cases.
Symptoms of Meningitis
Symptoms can appear in any order. Some may not appear at all.
Common signs & symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia
- Fever, cold hands and feet
- Drowsy, difficult to wake
- Confusion and irritability
- Severe muscle pain
- Pale, blotchy skin. Spots/rash
See the Glass Test
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Dislike bright lights
Early symptoms can include:
Fever, headache, vomiting, muscle pain and fever with cold hands and feet.
Someone with meningitis or septicaemia can get a lot worse very quickly. Keep checking them.
Trust your instincts – Get medical help immediately
If a rash doesn’t fade under a glass, it’s a sign of blood poisoning (septicaemia) caused by meningitis and you should get medical advice right away.
The rash can be harder to see on dark skin. Check for spots on paler areas like the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, the tummy, inside the eyelids, and the roof of the mouth.
Other symptoms of meningitis
Meningitis can have a number of other symptoms, too, including:
- a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
- feeling and being sick
- irritability and a lack of energy
- a headache
- aching muscles and joints
- breathing quickly
- cold hands and feet
- pale, mottled skin
- a stiff neck
- a dislike of bright lights
- fits (seizures)
Babies may also:
- refuse feeds
- be agitated and not want to be picked up
- have a bulging soft spot on their head (fontanelle)
- be floppy or unresponsive
- have an unusual high-pitched cry
- have a stiff body
These symptoms can develop in any order and some may not appear.
Trust your instincts – Get medical help immediately:
If you are living in UK, contact below:
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department if you think you or your child might be seriously ill.
Call NHS 111 or your GP surgery for advice if you’re not sure if it’s anything serious.
If you are living in US, contact below:
Meningitis Foundation of America
Address: P. O. Box 1818
El Mirage, AZ 85335 USA