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Leg pain, cold hands & feet may cause a disease

If your kid complains of leg pain, cold hands and feet, and develops abnormal skin colour don’t dismiss it lightly, as these could be the early warning signs of meningococcal disease.

The classic symptoms of the disease rash, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, and impaired consciousness, occur late in the pre-hospital illness and currently parents and doctors are over-reliant on these for diagnosis.

Recognising early symptoms of sepsis [infection] could increase the proportion of children identified by primary-care physicians and shorten the time to hospital admission. The framework within which meningococcal disease is diagnosed should be changed to emphasise identification of these early symptoms by parents and clinicians.