The Health Service Executive is warning parents to be vigilant for the signs of meningitis after two children who attended the same creche in Co Cavan were diagnosed with the potentially fatal infection.

The HSE visited the creche in Ballyheelan, Kilnaleck and antibiotics have been administered to all children and staff who have had close contact with the two children.

Both the children are now responding to treatment. 

Information and advice have also been provided to parents who attend the creche.

The HSE said it had received the full cooperation and support of the creche staff and management.

Meningococcal infection often has a sudden onset and, while most people recover, it can be fatal. The disease occurs most commonly in winter and spring. Young children and adolescents are most at risk but it can occur in any age group.

The HSE is advising people to contact their doctor immediately if they suspect they or their child has symptoms or signs of meningococcal infection.

Symptoms include: high temperature, headache, stomach, joint or muscle pain, nausea or vomiting, irritability, drowsiness, pinpoint or blotchy rash that does not disappear when pressed, stiff neck and possibly dislike of bright light.

Meningococcal disease (Meningitis) is caused by bacterial infection. It does not spread easily - close and prolonged contact is usually required for the bacteria to spread from person to person. Only close contacts require preventative treatment with antibiotics.