Find out more information about Meningitis and the signs and symptoms of the disease.

What is Meningitis?

Signs and Symptoms

Download the "Know the signs and symptoms of meningitis" poster below for more information.

Meningitis Signs and Symptoms


The bacteria causing meningitis are spread by coughing, sneezing, and direct contact such as kissing. Outbreaks tend to occur where people live and work closely together which is why universities are particularly vulnerable.

Meningitis is a great problem for two reasons:

  • The disease can develop in a very short time
  • The earliest symptoms are very like a hangover or flu: vomiting, feeling feverish, joint pains/backache and a stiff neck.

More specific and more severe symptoms are:

  • severe dislike of light (photophobia)
  • severe headache
  • disorientation
  • a bruise-like rash which does not disappear when a glass is pressed against it
  • severe sleepiness
  • confusion

These would need URGENT MEDICAL HELP

If you are in any way concerned about any of these symptoms, seek medical help. Keep an eye on your friends as well and don't be afraid to ask how they are feeling.