Signs & Symptoms of Meningitis in Teenagers & Young People

Always be aware: meningitis and sepsis can often occur together

  • In most cases someone who develops meningitis or sepsis will become ill very rapidly
  • The symptoms can appear in any order
  • Do not wait for a rash, it is often a late symptom and may never appear at all

Symptoms in Teenagers

Meningococcal bacteria are the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in the UK. It is estimated that about 25% of 15-19 year olds carry this bacteria in the back of their throats, compared to 10% of the overall UK population.

This puts teenagers at a higher risk of developing meningitis. There are six main groups of meningococcal bacteria, namely A, B, C, W, X, and Y, that commonly cause disease. It is important to note that carrying the bacteria does not necessarily result in illness; in fact, it often enhances natural immunity. The bacteria can be transmitted from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and intimate kissing, and the increased social interaction among teenagers makes it easier for the bacteria to spread.

  • Confused and irritable

  • Drowsy, difficult to wake

  • Fever, cold hands and feet

  • Vomiting

  • Severe

  • Pale, blotchy skin. Spots/rash, see glass test

  • Stiff neck

  • Severe
    muscle pain

  • Convulsions or seizures

  • Dislike to
    bright light

Other Symptoms That May Occur

Delay in passing urine As a guide: all day in adults. 12 hours in babies and young children. Unable to stand unaided

If you are concerned that it could be meningitis or sepsis call 111 or your GP. In an emergency dial 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest accident and emergency.

The Research Goes On

To get involved or share your experience please get in touch or connect with us on social.

Press enter to search or esc to cancel