Meningitis B: Everything you need to know

What is Meningitis B? Symptoms, risks, and more.

meningitis b

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Meningitis B (meningococcal group B bacteria) is an infection of the meninges - the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. This leads to serious and life-threatening infections, including meningitis and blood poisoning.

What is Meningitis B?

It is the leading infectious killer of babies and young children in the UK, with about 1,200 cases in the UK alone.

Is Meningitis B deadly?

It can be fatal in one in 10 cases - and about one in four of those who survive are left with long-term problems, such as amputation, deafness, epilepsy and learning difficulties.

What are the symptoms of Meningitis B in babies and young children?

  • high fever

  • cold hands and feet

  • vomiting

  • refusing to feed

  • agitation

  • not wanting to be held or picked up

  • drowsiness

  • floppy body

  • unresponsiveness

  • grunting

  • rapid breathing

  • unusual high-pitched or moaning cry

  • pale, blotchy skin

  • red rash that doesn't fade when a glass is rolled over it

  • tense, bulging soft spot on head (fontanelle)

  • stiff neck

  • aversion to bright lights

  • convulsions

  • seizures

The above symptoms can appear in any order, and some may not appear at all.

REMEMBER: Do not wait for a rash to develop; if your child is unwell and getting worse, seek urgent medical help.

## Is there a Meningitis B vaccine available?

Yes, there is; read more about meningitis vaccines here.

Find out more about meningitis here.

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