Meningitis suspected cause of Sheffield schoolgirl's death

A primary school pupil in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, has died from suspected meningitis.

Medical experts have assured parents and everyone at the school that meningococcal infection is rare and not easily passed from human to human. Anyone who has been in close contact with the girl, including her classmates at Hunters Bar Junior School, has been offered antibiotics as a precaution.

What are the common early symptoms of meningococcal infection?

Many children who are developing meningitis or septicaemia have nonspecific symptoms such as just feeling or looking generally unwell. These symptoms may include having a high temperature, being more tired than usual and feeling sick. Three symptoms that commonly develop early on - often before the more classic symptoms listed later - are:

· Leg pains. The pains can become severe and prevent a child from standing or walking.

· Cold hands or feet - even if the child has a high temperature.

· Pale, dusky or blue colour of the skin around the lips.

Read more about meningitis

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