Published: 27 October 2014

University issues guidance on meningitis

The University is issuing guidance from Public Health England (PHE) after an undergraduate student was taken ill with suspected meningococcal disease (meningitis B).

Meningitis/septicaemia due to meningococcal infection is a rare illness. Even where the diagnosis is confirmed, it is very unusual to see a second case. The student’s immediate contacts have been given an antibiotic to help prevent further spread. There is no need for any other student in our university to have antibiotics.

Catherine Jones, Academic Secretary, said: “PHE has advised us that there is no cause for concern for the wider University community and that it is safe for staff and students to continue to attend the campus as normal.”

It is extremely unusual to see linked cases of this illness. However, it is important for all students to know the early signs of Meningococcal infection which include fever, headache, stiff neck, a dislike of noise, a dislike of bright light and possibly a rash. Meningitis or Septicaemia can develop very rapidly – if you or any of your friends have a flu-like illness that is rapidly getting worse please seek medical attention and show the doctor this email.

Further general information about Meningitis may be obtained from the Meningitis Research Foundation, tel: 080 8800 3344 (24hr helpline) or visit: www.meningitis.org

Some students will have been immunised against the meningitis C strain which is less common than meningitis B. Any students under the age of 25 who have not had a dose of the meningitis C vaccine are urged to contact their GP or Student Health and get vaccinated.

If you have any concerns at all you may seek advice from your own GP. You can also obtain medical help or advice by calling 111. The University’s Student Health Service can be contacted on 0151 285 4578.

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