A classic symptom of meningitis is a blotchy rash that doesn't fade when a glass is rolled over it, but this doesn't appear in many cases.
You should get medical advice as soon as possible if you're concerned about yourself or your child. Trust your instincts and don't wait until a rash develops.
Call 999 for an ambulanceor go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department if you think you or your child might be seriously ill.
Call NHS 111 or your GP surgery for advice if you'renot sure if it's anything serious.
The classic rash associated with meningitis usually looks like small, red pinpricks at first.
It then spreads over the body quickly and turns into red or purple blotches.
If you press the side of a clear glass firmly against the skin and the rash doesn't fade, it's a sign ofblood poisoning (septicaemia) caused by meningitis and you should get medical advice right away.
The rash can be harder to see on dark skin. Check for spots on paler areas like the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, the tummy, inside the eyelids, and the roof of the mouth.
Meningitis can have a number of other symptoms, too, including:
Babies may also:
These symptoms can develop in any order and some may not appear.
Read about meningitis, an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Find out about the symptoms, vaccines and treatments.
Read about the main symptoms of meningitis, including the meningitis rash, and find out when and where to get medical advice if you have any concerns.
Read about the main causes of meningitis and how the infection is spread.
Read about how meningitis is treated, including what tests may be needed and whether treatment is hospital will be necessary.
Read about the main risks associated with meningitis, including hearing loss, loss of limbs, and problems with memory or concentration.
Read about the different vaccines that can help prevent meningitis and when they're usually given.
Read the story of Tracey Chambers, whose daughter Courtney was diagnosed with meningitis septicaemia.
Read the story of Mary Baron and her grandson Kyle, who developed bacterial meningitis during a holiday in Tenerife.