Peterborough man urges residents to stay meningitis aware

Del and Rico Dunworth

Del and Rico Dunworth

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A Peterborough man is encouraging people to be aware of the symptoms of meningitis after his brother was diagnosed this year.

Del Dunworth from Peterborough is sharing his first-hand experience of meningitis with the local community during national Meningitis Awareness Week (19-25 September 2016) to ensure people are aware of the symptoms, know to be vigilant and act fast.

Del said: “My little brother Rico was diagnosed with meningitis earlier this year. It’s a horrible disease which can make people very ill, very quickly, and I want everyone to be wary of it. We were lucky we got Rico the medical help he needed as quickly as we did. On the 27 August I ran in the South Coast Challenge - a 62 mile ultra-marathon - to raise money for Meningitis Research Foundation. It took a lot of training and it’s the hardest challenge I’ve done but my brother has been so brave though this whole ordeal and that motivates me more than anything.”

Meningitis Awareness Week is run by Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF). The charity estimates that there have been on average around 3,200 cases of meningitis and septicaemia every year in the UK. They are deadly diseases that can strike without warning, killing one in ten, and leaving a quarter of survivors with life altering after-effects ranging from deafness and brain damage to loss of limbs. Babies, toddlers and young adults are most at risk.

MRF Chief Executive, Vinny Smith said, “We are so grateful to Del for raising awareness in Peterborough during Meningitis Awareness Week. MRF funds vital scientific research into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia but there are still some forms of the disease which are not covered by vaccines so it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms. We encourage everyone to be vigilant and to get medical help if you spot the symptoms.”

Check that you know the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia at www.meningitis.org/symptoms and share the Meningitis Awareness Week campaign (www.meningitis.org/maw2016) with everyone you know using #MRFAwarenessWeek.

For any questions about meningitis, septicaemia and vaccinations that can prevent the diseases call MRF’s Freefone helpline on 080 8800 3344 or log on to www.meningitis.org.