Live updates

Child dies from suspected meningitis

Microscopic image of bacteria. Credit: ITV News

A 6-year-old boy from Wiltshire has died from suspected meningitis.

Paramedics were called to an address in Highworth on Friday morning and although the boy was taken to Great Western Hospital he died a short time later.

Public Health England have said they are identifying those who had close contact with the child and offering them antibiotics, but that there is no need for wider groups of children to take medication.

They have also warned parents to be alert to the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, including vomiting, a severe headache, neck stiffness, drowsiness and a rash.

We pass our sincerest condolences to the family at this tragic time. It is important to emphasise that the risk of this suspected case spreading to others is extremely low.

We reassure people, particularly parents who may be feeling concerned, that all necessary actions are being taken to protect the public.

– Dr Ayoola Oyinloye, Swindon Borough Council Public Health Consultant

Petition for Men B vaccine to be available on NHS

A Gloucestershire MP is calling for a vaccination against a potentially deadly form of meningitis to be available on the NHS.

Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has told Parliament that the Bexsero vaccine for Menengitis B was licensed last year, but was turned down by an NHS committee because it is not considered cost-effective.

He received a petition from Gloucestershire grandparents, who lost their 19-year-old grand-daughter to the disease.


Meningitis campaigner is awarded honorary degree

Steve Dayman, meningitis campaigner, receiving honorary doctorate from University of Bristol Credit: Ede and Ravenscroft

A meningitis campaigner who lost his three-year-old son to the disease, has received an honorary degree for his work.

Steve Dayman has spent 30 years campaigning about Meningitis. He accepted his doctorate from the University of Bristol this morning.

Professor Adam Finn, Steve Dayman and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Eric Thomas Credit: Ede and Ravenscroft

Meningitis: What are the symptoms?

As a campaign for a meningitis vaccine to be made available on the NHS gathers momentum, a reminder of the symptoms to look out for:

Early symptoms

  • Severe headache
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Fever
  • Vomiting (being sick)
  • Feeling generally unwell

Later symptoms

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Seizures or fits
  • Being unable to tolerate bright lights
  • A stiff neck
  • A rapid breathing rate
  • A blotchy red rash that does not fade or change colour when you place a glass against it

For more information about meningitis and the campaign to find a cure, contact Meningitis Now

Meningitis campaigner to get honorary degree

Steve Dayman will be awarded an honorary degree at the University of Bristol Credit: ITV News

A man who's campaigned for 30 years about meningitis and raised millions of pounds for research will be awarded an honorary degree at the University of Bristol today.

Steve Dayman lost his baby son Spencer to the illness. This afternoon, former nurse and equal rights campaigner Princess Campbell - who was the first black ward sister in Bristol - will also be honoured.

MP calls for meningitis vaccination

A Gloucestershire MP has called for a vaccination against a potentially deadly form of meningitis to be available on the NHS.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Conservative MP for The Cotswolds, told Parliament the Bexsero vaccine was licensed last year against Meningitis B, but turned down by an NHS committee because it is not considered cost-effective.

The MP is campaigning on behalf of his constituents, Dr and Mrs Turner, whose 19 year old granddaughter Emily Styles, died from the disease on New Year's Day.


Researchers conduct trials for meningitis B jab

Doctors are trialling a new vaccine that could protect children against meningitis B. Until recently there has been no way of preventing this particular strain, which is highly aggressive and can be fatal.

Nearly 2,000 people contract the infection every year - many are babies and young children. The trials are currently taking place in four cities - including Bristol.

Watch Andrew Pate's report and an interview with Chris Head, the Chief Executive of the Thornbury-based Meningitis Research Foundation here:

First hand experience of Meningitis

Every year in the UK around three and a half thousand people contract meningitis. And every week, six families lose a loved one to the disease.

Claire Middleton from Weston-super-Mare nearly lost her baby, Edith, when she was just a few hours old. Now at the start of Meningitis Awareness Week she wants people to learn from her experience. David Woodland reports.

  1. National

Meningitis B jab 'would save lives'

Meningitis charities said thousands of lives could be saved if children had access to a vaccine that was today rejected by the Government.

Sue Davie, chief executive of the Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK, said:

This is extremely disappointing news after all our supporters and our hard work over decades to introduce a vaccine.

We understand the committee's concerns about impact and cost, but we believe this vaccine is safe and we know it will save lives.

The more we delay, the more lives are being lost.

– Sue Davie

Meningitis UK estimates that there are 1,870 cases of meningitis B each year in the UK. It says that one in 10 people affected will die.

Load more updates