LFE Business Development Manager Paul Urwin is urging all Apprentice players to ‘look out for their team-mates’ after reports published by The Meningitis Trust suggested that Meningitis amongst young people will rise over the next 12 months.
There have been several recent confirmed cases of the illness at schools and colleges reported in the national press.
Meningitis symptoms include pain in the muscles, joints or limbs, such as in the legs or hands, unusually cold hands and feet, or shivering, severe headaches, vomiting and a stiff neck.
Other symptoms also include a sensitivity to light and a distinctive skin rash (although not everyone will develop this).
Bacterial meningitis is very serious and should be treated as a medical emergency as left untreated it can can cause severe brain damage and infect the blood (septicaemia).
Unlike bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis is almost never life threatening however it is very unpleasant and can have long-lasting after-effects such as severe headaches, extreme tiredness, loss of hearing, depression and memory loss.
“Meningitis can strike in an instant, but its impact can last a lifetime,” said Urwin.
“Having dealt with the death of a student when I worked in a college I know how hard this can be to take so I’d urge all apprentices to know the symptoms and look out for themselves and their team-mates.”
Chelsea footballer Daniel Sturridge is one of the most recent examples of a footballer to contract the viral form of the illness.
“I started feeling ill on the Thursday but thought I was just overtired as I had a headache and was feeling nauseous,” said Sturridge.
“I started being sick on the Friday, so went to the doctor who said he thought I had a migraine. On Saturday, I had been sick a number of times and the headache was getting worse, so I went to the hospital and they said they thought I had food poisoning and told me to go home and rest.”
“On Monday, I was on a train on the way to a meeting and the headache was unbearable and I couldn’t stand the lights, so I phoned the Chelsea club doctor who told me to get back to London and they then rushed me into St Mary’s hospital.”
“I was given antibiotics for bacterial and viral meningitis as a precautionary measure, before it was confirmed that I had the viral form of the disease. I was devastated as I didn’t think it could happen to me and couldn’t believe how quickly it struck.”
“I have made a full recovery, thanks to God and the medical care I received, and I’m so lucky to be able to still play football and continue with my life.”
“People need to learn the symptoms of the disease and get medical help quickly if they suspect meningitis. Make sure you are MeningitisWise as it could save a life,” added Sturridge.