Meningitis warning

With cases of meningitis and septicaemia increasing in autumn and peaking in winter in the UK, National Meningitis Awareness Week reminds people of the devastating effects of meningitis and how to protect against it.

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Grieving mother warns of the dangers of meningitis

Joe (left) and Ryan (right) died 20 years apart from meningitis Credit: ITV Anglia

A woman from Norfolk who lost both her sons to meningitis is warning other parents to look out for symptoms of the disease.

Gina Weston's sons Joe and Ryan died twenty years apart of the bacterial form of the disease.

The symptoms are often flu-like and can include a stiff neck and red rash, if not treated quickly it can kill in just 4 hours.

Most children are now vaccinated against some forms of the disease - but there is no vacine against meningitis B - the more deadly bacterial form.

Gina Weston is warning other parents of the dangers of meningitis Credit: ITV Anglia

Gina said: "It was awful, it was devastating. You just expect to go into your baby's room in the morning and pick them up and carry on as normal you don't expect two hours later to be having your child christened and having to say goodbye."

Each year about 3,400 people contract the disease - one in ten of them will die, research shows that those under 4 and between 15-24 are at most risk.

Many of the symptoms of meningitis are flu-like; they include a fever, bad headache, confusion, a stiff neck and an aversion to bright light.

A rash which doesn't fade when pressure is applied is also an indicator - but patients won't necessarily have all the symptoms.

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