Young people starting university or college this autumn are being urged to get a vaccine against meningitis.

According to the BBC, 22 people in England got Meningitis W in 2009 in England, compared with almost 200 people in the last 12 months. This is a huge rise, but you can avoid infection by getting vaccinated and looking out for symptoms to make sure anyone who may be infected gets early medical attention.

Meningococcal group W disease is a life-threatening infection that can also cause septicemia – blood poisoning which can kill within hours. If it doesn’t kill it can lead to significant disability such as amputations, epilepsy, eye sight problems, deafness and speech difficulties.

Early symptoms of infection may not be so obvious and could be easy to mistake for a common illness like cold and flu or even a hangover. Symptoms may just begin with a headache and sore throat, but within hours can become life threatening.

Early Signs and symptoms of infection include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Cold hands and feet

Other symptoms include: stiff neck, dislike of bright lights, confusion, irritability and pale blotchy skin spots/rash.

All students off to start at university or college this autumn are at particular risk of getting meningitis infection. As students mix closely with lots of new people in shared housing and halls of residence they are exposed to lots of bacteria including the meningitis bacteria. This is easily spread through sneezing, coughing, kissing and sharing cutlery/utensils.

Often the infection is carried unknowingly in the nose and throat of people who are fit and well so it is really important that all students get vaccinated before they go.

A quick and easy single vaccination of meningitis ACWY will offer you protection against inflammation of the brain and septicemia caused by 4 meningococcal strains including meningitis W.

Contact Global Health Travel Clinic now to book your appointment.