Meningococcal disease has many symptoms, some of which can be similar to other illnesses, like respiratory viruses or gastroenteritis.
Symptoms can vary but may include:
In young children, symptoms may also include:
Meningococcal disease can affect anyone, but it is more common among children under 5 years old, and adolescents and young adults aged 15-25 years old.
People at slightly greater risk of meningococcal disease include:
People infected with meningococcal disease can become extremely unwell, very quickly, often within hours of the first symptoms appearing.
Patients with meningococcal disease need urgent
treatment with antibiotics, in hospital. Treatment will usually begin before the diagnosis is confirmed by tests.
If you think you or someone you know could have meningococcal disease, seek urgent medical advice.
If you’ve already seen a doctor but symptoms continue to worsen, consult your doctor again or go to the Emergency Department.