Parents urged to look out for early meningitis signs
More than four in ten Irish parents think a distinctive rash is the first symptom of meningitis despite the fact it often appears after other symptoms, or not at all.
The findings have emerged in a new Tackle Meningitis campaign.
The Meningitis Research Foundation and ACT for Meningitis hope to increase understanding of the disease, its symptoms and the fact that there are different strains of meningitis that can affect both children and young people.
If not treated quickly it has the potential to cause life-threatening blood poisoning (septicaemia), permanent damage to the brain or nerves, loss of limbs and in some cases, death. In the early stages of the disease it can be very difficult to tell meningitis and septicaemia apart from milder diseases, as they often resemble common viral illnesses.
Vaccines are available to protect against some of the strains, however, no single vaccine protects against all strains.