Meningitis Research Foundation

Meningitis Research Foundation is a leading UK, Irish and international charity that brings together people and expertise to defeat meningitis and septicaemia wherever it exists.

Our vision is of a world free from meningitis and septicaemia. A world where effective vaccinations can protect everyone. A world where people who do get the diseases get the most effective diagnosis and treatments possible. A world where people affected and their families have the best support and information.

We have three goals:

  • to see fewer people get meningitis and septicaemia;
  • to see more people survive with a better quality of life and reduced disability;
  • to have more engaged, informed and supported patients and communities.

MRF plays a key role in making this happen in the UK, Ireland and around the world by funding vital research, advocating for change as a dedicated champion for those it affects, and taking action that benefits people, including running awareness campaigns, training health professionals and providing support and information.

Meningitis and septicaemia are serious, life threatening illnesses.

  • Meningitis is the swelling of the meninges, which is the lining around the brain and spinal cord, caused mainly by germs entering the body
  • Septicaemia is blood poisoning caused by the same germs that can cause meningitis
  • Meningitis and septicaemia are illnesses that can kill in hours
  • Anyone, anywhere of any age can get meningitis and septicaemia, although some people are at higherrisk than others

What are the causes?

There are many different causes of meningitis and septicaemia. Different germs such as bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause meningitis and septicaemia if they invade the body.

  • Bacterial causes are usually more serious than other forms.
  • Viral meningitis is almost never life-threatening and viruses rarely cause septicaemia.
  • Fungal meningitis is very rare in the UK and Ireland but is serious.  It usually only affects people with weakened immune systems.
  • Meningitis cases rise during the winter months.

    If you have any concerns or questions our Membership and Support team are here to help.

    Live chat with us or call Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm 080 8800 3344 (UK)


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