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"Be Vocal about Viral" 2 – 6th May 2016

Medical negligence lawyers highlight dangers of viral meningitis

Small sick child

6 May 2016

We are pleased to be raising awareness of viral meningitis as part of Meningitis Now’s “Be Vocal about Viral” campaign.

Viral meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and the spinal cord. Viral meningitis is more common than bacterial meningitis and although rarely life-threatening, it can make those who contract it very unwell and recovery can be very slow.

Viral meningitis can affect any age group, but it is most common in young children as their body’s defences are not fully developed.

Up to 6,000 people each year across the UK suffer from viral meningitis. A survey by the charity Meningitis Now found that 97% of sufferers of viral meningitis faced debilitating after-effects including exhaustion, headaches, memory loss, depression, anxiety and hearing difficulties. Many have to take long periods off education or work, and struggle with day-to-day tasks that most people take for granted.

The symptoms of viral meningitis include:-
  • Severe headache
  • Dislike of bright lights (photophobia)
  • Neck stiffness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion and drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions/seizures

They can be very similar to those of bacterial meningitis, so it is essential to seek urgent medical help if you are concerned. Viral meningitis can be caused by a number of viruses, and the way in which it is spread will depend on the type of virus. Recovery from the virus can be very slow.

Meningitis Now publish signs and symptoms checkers which could literally save lives so please have a look at their website.

Nicola Wainwright, a partner in the clinical negligence department at law firm Leigh Day, has particular experience in dealing with claims arising from meningitis.  She acts for clients who have suffered from both viral and bacterial meningitis.

Nicola is pleased to be able to promote viral meningitis week.  She says:

'From my clients I know how devastating meningitis can be- viral as well as bacterial. The lives of many of those who are affected by meningitis are never the same again. It is important to raise awareness of viral meningitis so that those who suffer the disease can be better understood and can receive the help and support they need.

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