‘I’d rather not take any risks’: Students left terrified after meningitis death

Death of OP student sends shock waves through Manchester


Panicked students are taking extra precautions to ensure they don’t catch meningitis after the death of a Manchester student on Sunday

Now, students have been queueing outside OP doctors as the devastating case sparks a wave of worry across Manchester.

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With symptoms extremely similar to those of a hangover, some are worried for accidentally dismissing the disease.

Third year student Daisy said: “The symptoms are so similar to a hangover it’s scary, everyone has to be so careful”.

Dr Westlake, director for the Student Experience, offered a statement explaining that, “students living at Owens Park Tower have received guidance from Occupational Health advising that they are not at increased risk of infection”, however, many are not willing to take the risk.

A third year student told The Tab: “It’s safer to overact on situations like this. If I start getting similar symptoms I’m going straight to A&E just in case. I’d rather not take any risks.”

Even parents are getting involved, a third year told us: “It’s pretty scary. I’ve already had the jab when I was younger but my mum’s making me get a booster shot as soon as possible”.

And the huge number of students visiting the OP doctors since the event reflected the extra precaution being taken.

The surgery told us that they are taking the incident very seriously and are advising people with symptoms to go straight to A&E immediately.

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James Hall, a first year Economics student who lives in Green Court said:“It does make me wonder how easy it is to catch those sort of things.

“I think loads of the students in the tower are pretty worried because there was a queue for the surgery today. Apparently, some of those who lived near him in the Tower have been moved.”

And it’s not just the students who are worried about a potential outbreak. James went out to tell us: “I spoke to a cleaner today and apparently all the cleaners were really worried this morning, going to their boss asking for jabs and stuff.”

Another fresher tells us: “There is definitely an increase awareness about the illness and a massive panic to get jabs from the campus doctors.

“People are now more aware of the subtle symptoms and are kind of freaked out at the situation as a whole.”

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But more than anything, people are mostly in shock and disbelief at the tragic death of the student.

Dr Tim Westlake, Director for the Student Experience said: “It is with sadness that I must inform you of the death of one of our students from probable meningitis over the past weekend. Our thoughts are with his family.”

A third year tells us: “I’m deeply shocked and upset by this awful news, it really could have happened to anybody.”

Anyone who would like further information about the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia or have any concerns should visit: www.meningitis.org or call the Freefone Helpline: 080 8800 3344

After the confirmation from Public Health England, warnings of symptoms have been given to other students to avoid it being mistaken for something less serious.

Early symptoms are similar to those of flu or a hangover: headaches, nausea, drowsiness, stiffness.

Other symptoms include: aversion to light, limb pain, rash.

Thoughts are with the student’s family at this difficult time.

If you are concerned about meningitis, visit meningitisnow.org for advice, or download their symptoms app.