Facts About Meningitis

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is an inflammation of the fluid and membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

There are three main types of meningitis infection:

Read more about the Types of Meningitis.


What to look for

Meningitis can be hard to recognise in the early stages. Symptoms can be similar to those of the common flu, including: fever, vomiting, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, drowsiness, muscle and leg pain.

Read more about Meningitis Symptoms.

If someone close to you shows signs of meningitis, seek medical help immediately.




Anyone, anywhere, any time

Did you know that:

  • Meningitis kills or disables around 1.2 million people worldwide each year.
  • Bacterial meningitis, which is the most severe and common form of meningitis, causes around 120,000 deaths globally every year.
  • Even with prompt diagnosis and treatment, approximately 10% of patients will die within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms, and up to 20% or more will sustain permanent damage and disability.
  • Infants and children under five years old and adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age are most at risk. But anyone in the world can get meningitis at any time.
  • Cases are more frequent in developing countries due to poverty, overcrowding and lack of access to vaccines.
  • Those surviving meningitis can have their lives devastated as a result of long-term effects, such as deafness, brain damage, learning difficulties, seizures, difficulties with physical activities and when septicaemia is involved loss of limbs.
  • Many people don’t know the warning signs or that many types of meningitis are vaccine-preventable.

Read more about meningitis prevention and treatment.