Meningitis is a severe infection affecting the systematic function of the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by the appearance of  a meningococcal bacteria, which can result in brain damage and bloodstream infections that if left untreated can eventually quickly become fatal.

The meningococcal bacteria that leads to meningitis comes in many forms depending on the area you travel to. High-risk areas are usually vastly crowded, making exposure to coughing, sneezing and shared appliances more common.

Meningitis is regularly found in parts of Africa, Asia and Saudi Arabia.

Risk areas for Meningitis

Meningitis disease locations

  • Headache
  • Having a consistently high temperature
  • Cold feet and hands
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion around others
  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Blotchy and pale skin
  • Spots
  • Harsh rash
  • Sniff neck, inability to move properly
  • Aversion to bright, consistent lights
  • Being sleepy regularly and being difficult to wake up during sleep
  • Seizures


Most people infected with the bacterial forms of Meningitis but treated immediately will likely make a full recovery. However, those who fail to spot the symptoms early and delay effective treatment can be left with life-changing and long-term complications.

  • Hearing loss and vision loss
  • Loss of memory
  • Recurring seizures
  • Balance and movement issues
  • Amputation of infected limbs will occur if it deemed necessary


There are several ways you can prevent contracting meningococcal meningitis including having the vaccination, avoiding close person contact and also sharing personal items. Our travel expert can carry out a risk assessment for you and provide expert advice to keep yourself safe when travelling in meningococcal meningitis risk area.

If you would like more information about Meningitis then speak to one of our travel experts or visit your nearest travel clinic.

Content Reviewed By

Ghulam Haydar,
MPharm, IPresc
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