Celebrity Operation Leader and meningitis survivor James Patrice: 'It can be deadly, so act fast'
RTE presenter and snap chat star James Patrice is a survivor of meningitis.
The Celebrity Operation Transformation leader contracted meningitis aged 10 and was left fighting for his life.
“It’s vital for students, particularly if they are living away from home to watch out for their friends if they’re unwell," he said.
"If they have meningitis it can be like a very bad hangover that quickly gets worse. It can be deadly, so act fast and get medical help without delay.”
The Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) estimates that there have been on average 200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in Ireland.
Cases of meningitis and septicaemia usually start to rise in the Autumn/winter season, and people should be especially aware of the symptoms at this time, the MRF says.
James Patrice was speaking ahead of national Meningitis Awareness Week which occurs this week (September 18-24, 2017) to ensure people are aware of the symptoms, know to be vigilant and act fast.
Meningitis and septicaemia kill one in ten people who contract them, and leave a third of survivors with life altering after-effects that can be as severe as deafness, brain damage and loss of limbs.
Babies, toddlers and young adults are most at risk, however these diseases can strike anyone of any age, at any time.
Teenagers are a high risk age group for meningitis and septicaemia and university freshers are particularly at risk because they mix with so many other students from all over the country and abroad, some of whom are unknowingly carrying the bacteria, the MSF says.
The MSF warns that meningitis and septicaemia can develop suddenly and progress rapidly. Early symptoms include headache, vomiting, limb pain, fever, and cold hands and feet. Students should be alert to the symptoms and should not wait for a rash or neck stiffness to develop before seeking medical attention urgently.
For information call MRF’s Freefone helpline on 1800 41 33 44 or visit www.meningitis.org.