Meningitis and Septicaemia

Meningitis and Septicaemia


Below are common signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia that appear in both infants and children. The symptoms can appear in any order or indeed may not appear at all.





  • Fever, cold hands and feet
  • Vomiting/refusing food
  • Dislike of being handled
  • Drowsiness, floppy or unresponsive¬†
  • Rapid breathing, grunting
  • Pale blotchy skin, spots/rash** (see glass test)
  • Unusual cry or moaning
  • Tense bulging fontanelle (soft spot)
  • Neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights/sunlight
  • Seizures/convulsions



  • Fever, cold hands and feet
  • Vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Drowsy and difficult to wake
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Convulsions/seizures
  • Pale blotchy skin, spots/rash** (see glass test)

** GLASS TEST: if a rash does not fade under the pressure of a glass applied to it then this is often a tell tale sign of meningococcal septicaemia, referred to as the meningitis rash. This is a medical emergency and qualified medical assistance is required immediately.



Dont wait for a rash to appear, it can appear late or not at all




How to complete the glass test: 

(please see the video below supplied by