First year students who have not already been vaccinated against meningitis (inflammation of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning) are being urged to do so.
Meningitis is comparatively rare, but it is important to be aware of the symptoms and be prepared to take urgent action whenever it is suspected as it can develop suddenly and progress rapidly.
Early symptoms you should be aware of include: severe diarrhoea and vomiting, headache, muscle pain, fever, cold hands and feet.
Students should be alert to the signs and symptoms and should not wait for a rash to develop before seeking medical attention urgently. Students are also encouraged to look out for their friends, particularly if they go to their room unwell.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at Public Health England, said: “Many students will have been vaccinated before they left home for university and some will have got vaccinated by their new GP last term. However, for those who haven’t, it is not too late. First year students remain at significantly greater risk than most young people from this deadly disease. So I would strongly urge them to go and see their GP to get vaccinated – it could save their life.”
Things you should do
- Get your Men ACWY vaccine, if you have not already. The Men ACWY vaccine is a single injection that protects against meningitis and septicaemia
- If you have not already registered with a GP, please do so
- Seek medical advice immediately if someone has concerning symptoms, or their condition appears to be getting worse
- If you think you are unwell, tell someone
- If your friend is ill, keep an eye on them
For further information about the MenACWY vaccination, see the NHS Choices website.