- Tyne Tees
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Meningitis charities are warning parents to look out for the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia over the winter months.
The disease can kill within 24 hours and the early signs can be easily mistaken for flu.
People are being urged to look out more closely for the symptoms of meningitis during the winter months.
There is often a rise in the number of cases of meningitis over the winter period, and symptoms may be mistaken for those of the flu bug.
Symptoms of meningitis, and its blood poisoning form septacaemia, include:
Similar to cold and flu but gets worse very quickly
Bad headache and temperature
Dislike of light
Loss of consciousness
Meningitis B is a "big killer in the UK", according to a specialist from St Mary's Hospital in London.
Professor Simon Kroll has spoken about the possibility of a new vaccine against Meningitis B being available within the year.
Scientists have been working on the vaccine for more than a decade and preliminary approval has just been granted for the jab.
Meningitis charities across the UK are warning people, and particularly parents, to look out for the symptoms of the disease over the winter months.
Three charities are advising people about what they should be looking out for and the steps to take if they do think they have symptoms of the disease.
Cases of meningitis are known to rise over the winter months, as does the blood poisoning form of the disease - septicaemia.
Meningitis can kill within 24 hours and so early recognition of the symptoms is extremely important.
At this time of year, the symptoms of meningitis are often mistaken for flu, so people are being encouraged to seek medical attention if they think that they may have symptoms of the disease.