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Dante Louis Sawyer
Meningococcal disease
Meningococcal disease at 14

Our hope is that no other parent would have to go through this.

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meningitis & septicaemia can kill in hours!

People who are faced with meningitis and septicaemia have to act fast to help save a life.

Who is at risk from meningitis and septicaemia?

  • Anyone of any age can get meningitis or septicaemia, but various factors can increase the risk.
  • Geographical location - some countries have higher rates of meningitis and septicaemia than others.  For example, many kinds of meningitis are much more common in developing countries than elsewhere.  The only way to address this is through vaccination
  • Environmental factors - exposure to smoke, for example, can make you more susceptible to infection
  • Medical conditions and immunodeficiencies
  • Age is one of the main risk factors.


Babies are at higher risk of bacterial meningitis than any other age group. They can get all of the main types of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia, including:

The introduction of vaccines against some of these infections has decreased the risk to babies, but there are still types of meningitis and septicaemia for which there is no vaccine. So it is important to know the symptoms in babies and to protect your baby as much as possible through immunisation. 

In the UK and Ireland, every routine injection offered to babies in the immunisation schedule protects against meningitis.

Newborn babies are particularly susceptible to meningitis caused by:

  • GBS 
  • E. coli 
  • Listeria

    Symptoms in babies


    Toddlers are also at increased risk of meningitis, although the risk is not as high as in babies. 

    Baby and toddler immune systems are still developing and this is why they are more likely to be infected than older children and adults when they encounter the bacteria.   

    Young adults

    Teenagers and young adults are at risk mainly from meningococcal disease

    The introduction of the MenC vaccine has dramatically reduced cases of Group C meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia. 

    However, Group B and other types of meningococcal disease continue to cause cases in teenagers.