Friday, January 13, 2006

Meningococcal warning signs: "Noticing your sick child has cold hands and feet, leg pain and abnormal skin colour could make the difference between life and death. Researchers have discovered these are all early warning signs of the dreaded meningococcal disease, which can kill a child within 24 hours. Experts have urged parents and doctors to be more alert for these signs, saying they could give doctors a few vital hours' head-start to begin life-saving treatment. Although meningococcal infection often causes a trademark rash that does not go pale when pressed, this symptom occurs so late it leaves little time to start treatment. While the rash and other classic symptoms such as a stiff neck and headache typically appear as late as 22 hours after first falling ill, the British researchers found 72 per cent of children have the early warning signs - the hallmarks of blood poisoning - within the first eight hours".

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