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How can I prevent it?

Meningitis is usually caught from people who are carrying the viruses or bacteria in their nose or throat but aren't ill themselves.

How to reduce the possibility of infection:

Good hygiene images one washing hands and one using a tissue
  • Ensure you wash your hands carefully and regularly, especially before eating, after using the toilet, following time in crowded public places or after contact with animals
  • You should avoid sharing drinks, foods, straws, eating utensils, lip balms or toothbrushes with anyone else
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
young (approx. 5years) being vaccinated

Vaccinations are also available to reduce the risk of infection. However, there is no single vaccine to protect against all bacterial strains.

The meningitis C vaccine was introduced into the UK routine vaccination programme in 1999.

Babies born after May 2015 have benefited from the introduction of the meningitis B vaccine.

The meningitis ACWY vaccine is now offered routinely to 13-14 year olds as part of the adolescent schools programme, to older teenagers who missed this at school and new university students up to the age of 25.

The NHS vaccination schedule changes. It is possible you or your family may not have received these vaccinations.

To find out more:

NHS choices


Meningitis vaccinations for patients not covered by the NHS schedule are available privately from Boots.

To find out more:

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