Flu or Meningitis Would You Know The Difference?


With winter upon us, ACT for Meningitis has issued a timely warning that there is a higher risk of Meningitis during the winter months. Would you know the difference between the symptoms of Flu or Meningitis? Find out more as knowing the symptoms can help save a life:

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As people spend a lot more time indoors and with close contact, germs are spread more easily. Also, coming down with a ‘cold’ or the ‘flu’ may weaken the immune system making you more susceptible to the Meningitis.

Most people are familiar with flu symptoms such as

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of Meningitis, because while early symptoms which also include headache, fever, vomiting, muscle pain, are flu-like, someone with Meningitis or septicaemia can get a lot worse very quickly so keep checking them.

Recommended Reading: Know the Symptoms of Meningitis

Further specific symptoms of Meningitis include

  • fever with cold hands and feet
  • stiff neck
  • dislike of bright lights
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • a rash which doesn’t fade under pressure.

In babies symptoms can also include

  • being irritable
  • refusing to feed
  • high pitched crying
  • rapid breathing
  • cold hands and feet
  • a bulging fontanelle (soft spot on the top of the head).

NB These symptoms may appear in any order or some may not appear at all.

The symptoms of Meningitis may be difficult to spot as many of the early symptoms can be similar to those of flu, so trust your instincts and if you suspect Meningitis, seek medical help immediately.

There is also a free Meningitis signs and symptom App that you can download from both Google Play and Apple Store.

act for meningitis

Following the death of their 4 year old daughter Aoibhe, Siobhan and Noel decided to set-up ACT for Meningitis.

ACT stands for both the Aoibhe Carroll Trust, and also represents the three key messages Siobhan and Noel want to get across in relation to Meningitis

  • The ‘A’ standing for ‘Ask’, ask yourself could it be Meningitis;
  • the ‘C’ standing for contact your doctor; and
  • most importantly ‘T’, trust your instincts.

For further information about ACT for Meningitis visit www.actformeningitis.ie

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