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meet the experts

Colin A. Michie
MA.FRCPCH.FLS Consultant
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Dr Sarah Brewer
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Dr Chris Steele
M.B., Ch.B.
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NiS is supported and advised by medical experts including GP and TV doctor Dr Chris Steele, health journalist, medical author and GP Dr Sarah Brewer, and consultant paediatrician Dr Colin Michie.

Dr Sarah Brewer answers a number of commonly asked questions

Q: What is meningitis, how do I recognize the signs?

A: Meningitis is a viral or bacterial infection of the membranes lining the brain.

Early treatment of bacterial meningitis is essential to a full recovery. If you are worried that a child or adult may have meningitis seek urgent medical attention.

A young baby with meningitis may refuse to feed, seem drowsy and quiet or be unusually irritable. The baby may seem floppy or jerky and may even have a fit. Sometimes the soft spot on the skull - the fontanelle - may seem tense and bulge.

A toddler with meningitis usually has a fever, vomiting and a change in mood or personality. The child may become drowsy, clingy, frightened or aggressive.

In older children symptoms to watch for include fever, severe headache; vomiting; drowsiness, dislike of light and stiff, painful neck movements. A red blotchy rash may develop that does not disappear when you press a glass against the skin.

Thanks to immunizations against Haemophilus and Meningococcal C, meningitis is now less common, but it is still important to remain alert.

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