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Miles For Meningitis

Miles for Meningitis is an initiative to raise awareness of meningitis running from February 5th 2015- 2016. It's a way for people of all different walks of life and all ages to set themselves a goal and increase their general fitness and raise awareness at the same time.

Unless you've been living in Ossian's Cave over the past few years you will have been humbled and touched at the amazing work carried out by Alan Glynn for Meningitis. 

Over 2015 Alan is calling on us to help him raise awareness by using your fitness goal to bring people's attention to this great cause. My sister has meningitis as a baby, thankfully she survived, but my Mum describes it as one of the most frightening times in all her years as a mother. 

From February 5th, Alan would like you to record your Miles for Meningitis and record and tag your efforts on the page. No big sponsor sheets (unless you want to!) just you helping your friends to see the page and understand the symptoms of this disease.

Alan explains everything. 

"I chose the date particularly because February 5th is when my daughter, Alexis, passed away from meningitis in 2011. I started my fundraising and running soon after, and since that date my life and that of my whole family's has changed. It is always a sad day, but it also signifies new beginnings.

The start of the year is when most people select a fitness goal for the year ahead and it would be great if they could incorporate raising awareness of Meningitis into this.

Meningitis is something which happens so suddenly and can affect people of all different ages. It can knock your plans sideways, especially if you don't recognise the signs and symptoms. If we can keep a focus on Meningitis throughout the year, we increase the number of people aware of it and the symptoms, which in turn will save lives."

The aim is to record how many miles you have covered for Meningitis, at any point of the year. It could be running, walking, cycling or anything else that accumulates miles. So, a family walk on Sunday, a stroll up a hill or 10 minutes on a treadmill or rowing machine. Cyclists in a group, Tough Mudders and everyone running a race. It is so easy to join in and get involved.

Here's what to do!

  1. Take a photo of yourself completing your miles
  2. Post this on our page with the number of miles and how you did it e.g #26milesformeningitis and a photo of you finishing a marathon.
  3. Tag yourself so your friends all see it!

It is not necessary to get sponsorship to take part in this. Simply by getting people talking about what you are doing and why, you will be raising essential awareness of Meningitis. 

Once you know how many miles you have covered during the year you can request a unique medal, showing the number of miles you have clocked up. Alan is being supported in his efforts by Live Active Leisure who are promoting it throughout their venues and supplying the certificates for all those who take part and Running IMP International are also supplying the medals. 

Karen Taylor, Marketing Manager at Live Active Leisure said this, “We are delighted to be in a position to support Alan’s amazing campaign. We have all been impressed with his fundraising over the past few years and to be able to help in this valuable awareness raising campaign is a privilege. Look out in our venues for guidance on posting your #MilesForMeningitis.”

This is possibly one of the easiest and most powerful things you can do to add an extra layer of good to your fitness regime. Go on, make a difference.

Click over to their Facebook page. 


Bacterial meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is more serious than viral meningitis. The symptoms usually begin suddenly and get worse rapidly.

If you suspect bacterial meningitis, dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Babies and young children

Babies and young children under five years of age are most at risk of developing bacterial meningitis.

A baby or young child with meningitis may:

  • have a high fever, with cold hands and feet
  • vomit and refuse to feed
  • feel agitated and not want to be picked up
  • become drowsy, floppy and unresponsive
  • grunt or breathe rapidly
  • have an unusual high-pitched or moaning cry
  • have pale, blotchy skin, and a red rash that doesn't fade when a glass is rolled over it (see below)
  • have a tense, bulging soft spot on their head (fontanelle)
  • have a stiff neck and dislike bright lights 
    have convulsions or seizures

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

Don't wait for a rash to develop. If your child is unwell and getting worse, seek medical help immediately.

In older children, teenagers and adults, the symptoms of meningitis can include:

  • a fever, with cold hands and feet 
  • vomiting
  • drowsiness and difficulty waking up
  • confusion and irritability
  • severe muscle pain
  • pale, blotchy skin, and a distinctive rash (although not everyone will have this)    
  • a severe headache
  • stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • convulsion or seizures

Again, these symptoms can appear in any order, and not everyone will get all of them.

Don't wait for a rash to develop. If someone is unwell and has symptoms of meningitis, seek medical help immediately.

The glass test

If you press the side of a clear glass firmly against the skin and the rash doesn't fade, it's a sign of meningococcal septicaemia.

A person with septicaemia may have a rash of tiny "pin pricks" that later develops into purple bruising.

A fever with a rash that doesn't fade under pressure is a medical emergency, and you should seek immediate medical help.

Viral meningitis

Most people with viral meningitis will have mild flu-like symptoms, such as:

  • headaches
  • fever (see above)
  • generally not feeling very well

In more severe cases of viral meningitis, your symptoms may include:

  • neck stiffness
  • muscle or joint pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia) 

Unlike bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis doesn't usually lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning).

A blotchy red rash that doesn't fade or change colour when a glass is pressed against it is a possible symptom of bacterial meningitis 

Bacterial or viral meningitis?

It's not possible to tell the difference between bacterial and viral meningitis from the symptoms alone.

Clinical tests are needed to distinguish between the two types of meningitis. Therefore, every case of suspected meningitis should be treated as a medical emergency.

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