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Scientists develop new test to check for meningitis

It's a disease that can strike quickly - and can kill. And, there are two main types of meningitis: bacterial and viral. Both affect the brain - and the first is potentially fatal.

The signs of meningitis are quite varied. Sudden fever, double vision, sensitivity to bright light and a stiff neck.

There's also the glass test, which many parents know about. If there's a rash, you get a glass and press it firmly against the skin. If it doesn't disappear - that can be a sign of meningitis.

Now, though, scientists are developing a new test that can detect the disease more quickly. That's good news for the mother of one young child from West Sussex who says spotting the signs early is crucial. Kevin Ashford reports.

Find out more about meningitis here.


Children still at risk, warns father whose daughter died from meningitis

Many children are still at risk from meningitis according to the father of a Kent toddler who died from the disease.

Neil Burdett's two-year old daughter, Faye, died earlier this year after fighting the infection for eleven days. He says the NHS should still be vaccinating all children under five. A year ago it introduced jabs for babies.

Derek Johnson reports.

Toddlers waddle in support of Faye Burdett's Meningitis campaign

Parents and children have come out in support of a family battling for the Meningitis B vaccine to be given to all children - after their daughter died from the illness earlier this year.

An online petition calling for the move has become the most signed in Parliamentary history, following the death of two year old Faye Burdett in February.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Faye's parents Neil and Jenny, and Rachel Cattell, organiser of today's event.


MPs will debate Meningitis vaccine after petition

The petition was started after the death of Faye Burdett from Maidstone Credit: Family

MPs will debate a petition to give all children the Meningitis B vaccine after it attracted more than three quarters of a million signatures.

The petition was launched following the death of two-year-old Faye Burdett from Maidstone. The government only plan to vaccinate children between two and five months. The e-petition has attracted more signatures than any other in parliamentary history.

Mum campaigning to protect babies from deadly meningitis

A Southampton mum, whose baby son survived meningitis, is encouraging parents to get their babies vaccinated against the disease.

Amy Carson knows how important it is to protect your child from the illness and is using Meningitis Research Foundation’s Awareness Week to get the message across.

From the start of September, the UK introduced a comprehensive vaccination programme against meningococcal B (MenB) meningitis and septicaemia for babies. Amy is urging parents to take advantage of it.

Amy, Pete and Oscar Carson Credit: Phillips Photography

Her son, Oscar, was just 6 months old when he was struck by the disease last year:

"I was devastated when the doctors said he had meningitis. Meningitis is something that you read about. Something that happens to other people, not to us. There were times when I thought we would lose him, as he got worse before he got better and it took almost three weeks for us to see any improvement at all.”

– Mum, Amy Carson

Chris Head, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation, says it is vital people are aware of the symptoms. Meningitis can strike anyone, at any time, and there are also vaccination programmes for teenagers and first time university students. Meningitis kills one in ten, and leaves a third of survivors with severe life altering effects such as deafness, brain damage and loss of limbs.

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