While the viral incarnation of the disease is fairly common, and usually not fatal, the bacterial version, and the complication known as meningococcal septicaemia, are far more rare, and are very serious, and potentially fatal.
Meningitis usually starts with a very high fever, and a red or blotchy rash on the skin. People and children with meningitis usually have a stiff neck, a sensitivity to light, headache, vomiting and drowsiness. They may also experience seizures, and babies often have swollen soft spots, diarrhoea, irritability or drowsiness, a floppy body, and an abnormal cry that’s often high pitched.
Because of the serious risks that meningitis poses to babies, children and adults, it’s important that you have your child vaccinated with the 6 in 1 vaccination. If you suspect that your child may have contracted meningitis, or any of the diseases associated with it, it’s also vital that you seek immediate medical care.
Hib is a bacterial infection that is spread through coughing and sneezing. It’s usually only dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, but since it can lead to more serious diseases, including meningitis, it’s important that you have your child vaccinated against it.
Hib infection is most common in children under four, however anyone can catch it. The vaccine (6 in 1) that protects against Hib is administered at two, four and six months of age, and although there may be mild side effects, it’s recommended that every child receive this vaccination.