Mother warns of the dangers of meningitis

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Parents are being encouraged to take up new free meningitis vaccines.

North Shields mother Ellie Patience says babies, teenagers and first time university students should take advantage of the vaccine as part of Meningitis Awareness Week (September 14 to 20).

Ellie said: “My three-month-old daughter Ava contracted pneumococcal meningitis in October 2014 and unfortunately the strain she had was not covered by the pneumococcal vaccine she had been given as part of the immunisation programme.

“Because the disease was diagnosed quickly and due to the outstanding care she received from the doctors and nurses at North Tyneside General Hospital she has made a full recovery, with no permanent damage.

“Meningitis kills every day and I know how devastating these diseases can be, so I would urge all who are eligible to make sure they get the vaccines.”

The new vaccines join others against meningococcal C, Hib and pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia in the UK immunisation programme. For any questions about meningitis, septicaemia and vaccination visit www.meningitis.org

Meningitis Research Foundation’s chief executive Chris Head said: “We are delighted with the introduction of these new vaccines which we hope will further reduce the number of cases in the UK.

“However, there are still some forms of the disease which are not covered by these vaccines so it is vital that people are still aware of the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia.”