A Glasgow mum-of-two is warning about the dangers of viral meningitis after her newborn son contracted it at only 12 weeks old.

Jill Doherty, 30 from Lenzie, first came into contact with the disease when her baby, Jack, fell ill in July.

"It was at the end of the weekend and Jack was really irritable" Jill told The Glasgow Times.

"He had a high temperature, and was crying. Myself and my husband, Garry, took Jack to be checked out and the doctor found a rash but said it was just a virus and sent us home.

"By the Monday I knew something wasn't right. He wasn't taking any milk, his rash was getting bigger and he was still upset.

"We took him back to the Out of Hours and it was a different doctor, who, when she saw him straight away said that she wanted him checked out and told us to take him to the children's hospital."

Glasgow Times:

In hospital, tests were run on Jack – including a lumbar puncture to check for bacterial meningitis.

"Looking back now I think now it is clear that people don't know how painful it is. Jack couldn't have his cannula fit into his hands or feet and so they had to fit it onto his head. It was just horrible.

"We couldn't be in the room when they were doing the lumbar puncture for cleanliness reasons and there is nothing more horrible than hearing your baby crying in another room while going through big injections. He was put on drips immediately, and it was just a horrible experience."

Jill and Garry waited for the results, but as time went on they started to feel reassured that their baby son didn’t have sepsis or bacterial meningitis, but instead was diagnosed with viral meningitis.

Initially we thought ‘At least it’s just viral meningitis’.

Glasgow Times:

“But once home I finally took the time to sit down and read about viral meningitis – that was the point where it hit me: yes, he had ‘just viral meningitis’ and yes it’s less severe than bacterial meningitis, but he still had an inflammation of the lining of his brain and spinal cord.”

Jill had been told there was no follow-up appointment for Jack. “Surely there should be some sort of after support?” she said. “It took me several weeks before I completely stopped analysing every single thing that Jack did.

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"Jack no longer suffers meningitis but hasn't been completely well since - he has had croup, bronchiolitis, ear infections and other things. He is a happy baby, and still keeps us on our toes, but it is a grey area for parents.

"I think there needs to be more said about viral meningitis, so that other parents and even doctors can recognise what it is before it gets to Jack's stage.

“I believe there is a lack of knowledge and understanding about viral meningitis and I feel now very passionate about trying to raise more awareness about viral meningitis so that others don’t do what I did and go ‘oh it’s fine, it’s just viral'."

Glasgow Times:

Meningitis Now’s Chief Executive Tom Nutt said:

“Most people who experience viral meningitis will make a good recovery, but some will be left with life-long problems,” he said.

“For this reason, anyone who suspects they or a loved one has meningitis – whether viral of bacterial – needs to take it very seriously.

“We believe the first and best line of defence against the disease is to learn the signs and symptoms so we would urge everyone to do this. And if you are ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to check it out.”