Lorna is supporting MRF in using Meningitis Awareness Week to warn people not to be complacent. Cases are expected to rise as people socialise again, and as we move into the winter season which is when we see the peak in yearly cases.
For example, MRF funded research shows that carriage rates of meningococcal bacteria in university students - like Lauren - increase rapidly in the first week of term as students begin to socialise. On the first day, 7% of students carry the bacteria, on day one, 11% on day two, 19% on day three and 23% on day four. Among students living in catered halls of residence, carriage rates reached 34% by December of the first term.
‘Lauren was due to have the MenACWY vaccine
, which would have saved her,’ Lorna remembers. ‘But she hadn’t had it yet.. Neither had I – none of our friends had. It took Lauren to die for all of us to become aware of the vaccine that we should have had in the first place.’