This is the inflammation of the meninges (the membrane layers protecting the brain and spinal chord) it can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and amoeba (single celled organisms) the early symptoms can be similar to flu and include severe headache, a high temperature and vomiting.
This then progresses to, a blotchy skin rash, a stiff neck, muscular pains, a dislike of bright lights, confusion and drowsiness. Not all these symptoms are necessarily present at the same time. The symptoms can develop slowly but the disease can progress rapidly and can be life threatening. If the person has a high temperature with a rash that does not fade when the side of a glass is pressed against it, they need to go to hospital immediately.