General Article Protecting teenagers in the UK against meningitis

Topic Selected: Adolescent Health

It’s really important for teenagers to be protected from meningitis and septicaemia. Although babies and young children are most vulnerable to these diseases, teenagers and students are the next most at-risk group. 

Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that can strike without warning, killing one in ten of those affected, and leaving a third of survivors with life-altering after-effects that can be as severe as deafness, brain damage and loss of limbs.

  • Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord
  • Septicaemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease

The most common cause of life-threatening meningitis and septicaemia in the UK is meningococcal infection. Teenagers and young adults are the age group that are most likely to carry meningococcal bacteria in their nose and throat, partly because they mix with so many other young people, some of whom are unknowingly carrying the meningitis ba

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