Television’s Dr Hilary Jones works alongside an animated character in a new 30-second film warning people about meningitis and septicaemia. He encourages them to learn the symptoms, trust their instincts and act fast because these diseases can kill and seriously disable in hours.
The film, which can be seen on You Tube and the charity’s website, www.meningitis.org, was produced by the Bristol based production company Mendip Media, who animated the charity’s existing symptoms character for the film.
“I have done thousands of hours of TV in my time but being the prop for a cartoon character is unusual, “says Dr Hilary, who is a Patron of Meningitis Research Foundation. “But it was all in a good cause. Winter is the peak time for meningitis and septicaemia. It’s so important people know what to look out for and learn to act fast. I am very proud of this short film and I encourage everyone to take a moment and share it with family, friends and colleagues. Working together we can help save more people from meningitis and septicaemia.”
Christopher Head, CEO of Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) added: “We are delighted with our new symptoms information film and are grateful to Dr Hilary for giving his time to make it. Many parents are unaware that their children are not protected against all strains of the disease and sadly there have been a number of deaths from these diseases in recent weeks. There is currently, for example, no vaccine available in the UK and Ireland against the most common cause of meningitis - meningococcal B infection (MenB), which kills more children aged under five than any other infection.”
Bacterial meningitis and septicaemia affect around 3,400 people across the UK each year and cases historically rise during winter months as they are easily mistaken for milder illnesses. They can strike at any age but children under five are most vulnerable with young adults and teenagers the second most at-risk group. One in ten of those affected will die and a third of survivors will be left with after-effects, some as serious as brain damage, amputations, blindness and hearing loss.
The UK has the highest number of child deaths in Europe. Meningitis Research Foundation is committed to fight this appalling statistic. It campaigns for life saving vaccines, funds vital research and produces a wide range of awareness materials aimed at the public and health professionals.