Freshers warned of new Meningitis health scare

No snogging

Worried unis have issued warnings after a spate of Meningitis cases on campuses across the UK.

A third year at Northumbria died with symptoms of Meningitis this month.

And an ailing Exeter fresher was rushed to hospital while two students at Strathclyde and one at Glasgow have spent this week in recovery.

Uni chiefs have sent out reminders to get vaccinated as health specialists say freshers specifically are at risk of catching the infection from “close, intimate contact”.

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Expert Dr Sema Mandal of Public Health England told The Tab: “Meningococcal disease, a rare but life-threatening infection that occurs mainly in children and young adults, is seasonal and so we would anticipate more cases to reported in the coming months over winter.

“Students starting university and mixing with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria, are at risk of infection.

“Ideally, freshers should have the MenC vaccination at least two weeks before they go away to study.

“However, anyone starting university without the booster should arrange to get it as soon as possible, via their university or college health centre or GP.”

Health charities have warned freshers living in close quarters they are more likely to become infected with Meningitis.

Jane Futrell of Meningitis Research Foundation said: “Immune systems at this time may be lower and freshers are more likely to be vulnerable by doing new things.

“Meningitis lives in the back of the throat so close, intimate contact can transfer the illness.

“People should be aware. Look out for one another as you might put down feeling unwell to dodgy food or a hangover when you’re actually sick.

“Some people go to bed feeling unwell like this and they don’t wake up.”


Doctors advise students to contact their GP if they have not been vaccinated against Meningitis C or if they develop these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Severe headaches
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rashes or bruises that do not disappear when pressed with a cold glass

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Be advised.