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Who is at risk?

Babies and young children are most vulnerable to meningitis but young people and students are the next most at-risk group.

Symptoms can develop very quickly and differ according to age.

Babies/young children:

Baby, younger child 5-7
  • Tense or bulging fontanelle (soft spot)
  • Fretful cry
  • Rapid breathing
  • Vomiting or refusing to feed
  • Drowsiness or lack of consciousnesss
  • Being difficult to wake and floppy
  • Rash
  • Very cold hands and feet

Adolescents/young adults:

boy teenager and girl image of a young adult-21ish
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea or stomach cramps
  • Drowsiness, disinterest, confusion or less responsive
  • Severe headache
  • Shivering
  • A dislike of bright lights
  • Stiff neck and muscle pain
  • Very cold hands and feet
  • Rash
less familiar meningitis symptoms
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