Sussex students are being urged to get critical vaccines

More than two-thirds of freshers are at risk of the diseases

Public Health England (PHE) are pushing for university students to get vaccinated against deadly meningococcal disease. Though it is rare, the illness can be life-threatening. Caused by meningococcal bacteria – of which the A, B, C, W and Y groups are most common – the disease poses most risk to children and young adults, by causing meningitis (inflammation of the brain’s lining) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

Early symptoms are similar to that of flu, including fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, drowsiness, severe headaches and muscle pains. Students displaying any of these symptoms are urged to see their GP as soon as possible.

Freshers have been identified as being in particular danger of contracting meningococcal disease. Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said: “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.”

The MenACWY vaccine is available to all university students studying in England, including second years who have not yet been immunised.