Meningitis: Know the signs

Meningitis is comparatively rare, but it is important to be aware of the symptoms and be prepared to take urgent action whenever it is suspected, as it can develop suddenly and progress rapidly.

Symptoms can start like a bad case of flu but they get worse very quickly. Early treatment can be lifesaving. Symptoms can include:

  • a headache
  • vomiting
  • a stiff neck
  • muscle and joint pain
  • a high temperature/fever
  • cold hands and feet
  • a dislike of bright lights
  • drowsiness or difficulty waking up

The symptoms can appear in any order. Some may not appear at all. In the early stages, there may not be a rash, or the rash may fade on pressure.

You should be alert to the signs and symptoms and should not wait for a rash to develop before seeking medical attention urgently. Students are also encouraged to look out for their friends, particularly if they go to their room unwell.


For further information about the symptoms please visit the NHS website.

You should get medical advice as soon as possible if you’re concerned that you could have meningitis. Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E immediately

How to get a vaccination

A free MenACWY vaccination is available for any unprotected individual under 25 years of age.

The MenACWY vaccine protects against 4 different causes of meningitis and septicaemia: meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y diseases.

If you have not been vaccinated, or you are not sure, it is important you contact your GP and arrange to receive the vaccines. If you haven’t registered with a GP in Liverpool yet, make sure you contact Brownlow Health or your local GP as soon as possible to register.