Every SECOND counts. If you suspect meningitis, GET MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY. Call or see your doctor / Call an ambulance / Get to a hospital.

Know the Symptoms

If you suspect meningitis or septicaemia, contact your doctor without delay, or call Healthline (free call) on 0800 611 116 at any hour of the day or night, even if you have already been seen by a health professional.

If not treated in time, meningitis can be deadly.  However if the disease is diagnosed early and treated promptly, most people make a complete recovery.

Bacterial meningitis results in serious illness and a rapid deterioration from the initial flu-like symptoms.  In this case, prompt treatment can mean the difference between life and death. In some cases it can be fatal, or it may lead to permanent disability such as deafness, limb amputation or brain damage.

Because bacterial meningitis presents symptoms similar to the common flu and other illnesses, it can be hard to diagnose.

If you are concerned about someone's health, or suspect they may have meningitis, seek urgent medical attention.  If your GP or hospital has reassured you, do not hesitate to return to the GP or hospital immediately if the symptoms worsen or you are still concerned.


Disclaimer - The Meningitis Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand promotes the prevention, control and awareness of meningitis. It is not a professional medical authority. The text on this website provides general information about meningitis and septicaemia, not medical advice. It is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of these diseases. Please consult your doctor to discuss the information or if you are concerned someone may be ill.

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