Meningitis Symptoms – It’s about more than the glass test

I received an email today asking me if I would put some information on the blog relating to Meningitis symptoms and the fact that up to 34 million UK adults wrongly think a rash is the main symptom of meningitis.

I have to admit that I shy away from any talk or discussion about Meningitis usually as it brings back so many memories of the biggest scare I have had with Ben

Above is a photo of Ben at ten weeks, his first smile – if you look closely on the left of his head you can see a cannula in his head where he was receiving antibiotics.

He was a classic case of no rash.

I think for so long the main focus on meningitis was the glass test, no one really knew what they were doing or for many (me) weren’t really sure without looking it up if the rash was meant to fade or not.  On the day when Ben at 10 weeks had a temp of 38.4 I didn’t think that much about it, I thought it was probably a cold or something.  I remember I did look him over for a rash after googling temp in a 10 week old but he had no rash but instinct made me phone the GP who was closed & the receptionist said phone later, I phoned my Health Visitor and she phoned the GP and got me an appointment.

I thought Ben was OK, he was awake, took a feed, a bit grizzly but not that bad.

I took him to GP  and his temp then was 39, and GP noticed that his skin was mottled looking. It had been very slightly like that on his legs earlier but I thought it was due to only having him in a vest and his legs were a bit cold.  it is the same mottled look that I now always notice on babies, I can’t say his was any different to my untrained eye.

The GP said he wanted 2nd opinion and to take him to the hospital. We did this and when we arrived very quickly there were about 7 doctors and nurses working on him, getting blood, giving oxygen etc. It was very very scary and shocking.  It was explained that the mottled skin was a sign of septicaemia and they suspected meningitis.

No rash.

Ben made a full recovery, and I am thankful for the many factors that led to that, living so near to the hospital, the £30 I spent on a digital thermometer and well Mummy instinct.

MeningitisNow are currently working on the project Break the Myth and Don’t wait for a Rash

What is the myth?
71 percent of adults in the UK (around 34 million!) think the glass test (where you check using a drinking glass for a rash on the skin that doesn’t fade under pressure) is the ONLY sign of meningitis.

This is not the case and we need people to check for ALL the signs and symptoms of meningitis if they feel ill.

It is a common misconception that a meningitis rash appears in every case of meningitis. This is not true. If someone has meningitis but not septicaemia, they will not have a rash that does not fade, but they can still be seriously unwell. Never wait for a rash

Click here to view all the signs and symptoms of meningitis

You can get an app for your smartphone for quick reference of the symptoms

You can watch the  video Break The Myth here



  1. divasupermum antoinette
    8 November , 2011 / 6:24 pm

    so glad everything went ok for you, will share a very important post

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