Watch out for signs of viral meningitis

SIR - I would like to remind your readers to be vigilant to the signs and symptoms of viral meningitis as the temperatures continue to soar this summer. Cases of the disease are known to peak during periods of hot weather. Although viral meningitis isn t

SIR - I would like to remind your readers to be vigilant to the signs and symptoms of viral meningitis as the temperatures continue to soar this summer. Cases of the disease are known to peak during periods of hot weather.

Although viral meningitis isn't life threatening, it can take people a long time to recover and there is no vaccine to prevent it.

I was struck down by a rare form of viral meningitis in September 2005. It came on very suddenly and at first I though I'd had a stroke as I couldn't feel the left side of my body. Then violent headaches started and I started to drift in and out of consciousness.

Doctors diagnosed meningoencephalitis - a rare form of viral meningitis which causes inflammation of the brain. I spent a total of six weeks in hospital and needed three months off work to recover.


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The initial symptoms are the same as bacterial meningitis, its more dangerous counterpart which can kill in under four hours. Meningitis UK advises people to look out for a headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright light, fever, feeling sick, confusion and drowsiness, diarrhoea and aching joints.

I would urge your readers to request a symptoms information pack by calling Meningitis UK on 0117 373 7373 or visiting www.meningitisuk.org

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Joe Swash,

Actor and Meningitis UK patron

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