Suzi Perry health: Sports host’s ‘horrendous’ symptoms of meningitis

Meningitis: Dr Ranj explains signs and symptoms

Having suffered an ectopic pregnancy, a breast cancer scare and meningitis, Suzi Perry, 50, has been through the mill. What are the symptoms of a viral infection, such as meningitis?Back in 2012, Suzi said: “It’s just been one thing after another. First, I found a lump in my breast, which was scary. “Fortunately, [it] turned out to be nothing. Then came the ectopic pregnancy. And then a couple of months after that I developed a banging headache,” she added.

Suzi continued: “The doctor thought it was a migraine and treated me for that, but it didn’t get better.

“Then they thought it might be a nerve or something trapped in my neck.”

Her symptoms worsened; she was unable to get out of bed when she was “finally diagnosed with viral meningitis”.

“It was so horrendous [and] really quite dangerous, and I was frightened,” she recalled.

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What’s viral meningitis?

The Meningitis Now charity stated viral meningitis is “more common” than bacterial meningitis.

Even though viral meningitis can make people “very unwell”, it’s rarely life-threatening.

Thousands of viral meningitis cases occur each year, typically caused by enteroviruses.

Meningitis, in general, is the inflation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

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Symptoms of meningitis

Symptoms of meningitis can include:

  • A fever, cold hand and feet
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsy, difficult to wake
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Pale, blotchy skin (rash or spots)
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Dislike bright lights

“Do not wait for a rash,” urged the charity. “If an adult is ill and getting worse, get medical help immediately.”

The symptoms of meningitis can appear in any order, and some signs of the infection may not occur at all.

There is no specific treatment for viral meningitis, but people with the infection need to stay hydrated and lots of rest.

“I just had to spend 10 days in bed and sleep it off,” Suzi said.

Although most people make a full recovery from viral meningitis, recovery can be slow.

Some people may be left with serious and life-changing after effects, such as exhaustion and memory loss.

What’s bacterial meningitis?

Bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening disease that requires urgent medical treatment.

There are different bacteria that can cause meningitis, such as:

  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • TB
  • Group B streptococcal and E.coli

The side effects of bacterial meningitis can include acquired brain injury, hearing loss, sight problems and emotional changes.

Some bacteria that can cause meningitis can also cause sepsis (i.e. blood poisoning).

This is when the body’s immune system mistakenly targets its own tissues and organs.

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