A student at the University of St Andrews in Scotland has been treated in hospital after contracting meningococcal infection, and another student from the university is now also being treated with what is suspected to be meningococcal infection.
NHS Fife have ensured that individuals in close contact with the students have been provided with antibiotics as a precaution.
Rob Dawson, Director of Support at Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) said, “Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that strike without warning. We’re here to help anyone affected and offer our support to the two students at St Andrews and their friends and family.
“Teenagers are the age group most likely to carry the meningococcal bacteria in the back of the nose and throat. University students are a group at higher risk of meningitis and septicaemia because they mix with so many other students who may be unknowingly carrying the bacteria, but people usually need to be in close or prolonged contact for the bacteria to pass between them. Even when this happens, most people do not become ill because they have natural immunity.
“The MenACWY vaccination programme for teenagers and university students is helping prevent four types of meningococcal infection, Men A, C, W and Y. However there are not yet vaccines available to prevent all types of meningitis and septicaemia so it’s important for students to be aware of the symptoms and look out for one another.”
Anyone with concerns can call the free MRF helpline on 080 8800 3344 or email email@example.com. The helpline hours are Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.