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New University Students Need to be Aware of Meningitis Risk

The Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) have reported that students who have recently gained places at University need to be aware of the dangers of meningitis and septicaemia.

MRF has revealed that over 10% of students in the UK have not heard of either disease and over 50% of students do not know whether they have been vaccinated against them.

Chris Head, MRF Chief Executive, commented, “Students and young adults are the second most ‘at-risk’ group in the UK after children under five. Students are more vulnerable to the diseases when they come together in new environments, such as universities. Traditionally cases begin to rise amongst this group in the autumn and winter. Therefore, it is vital that students know what the symptoms of meningitis are so they can distinguish between them and more common flu-like illnesses.”

A survey has shown that a quarter of students believe a rash is present in all cases of meningitis, when in fact there are some types of meningitis where a rash does not appear at all. Students need to be vigilant of other symptoms including fever, vomiting, dislike of bright lights and neck stiffness, and not only look out for the rash.

I have experience of cases of medical negligence involving a delay in diagnosis of meningitis, which, even after symptoms were reported to a GP and hospital, were not diagnosed correctly until some time later. This delay can have devastating consequences for a patient. If you would like to discuss the circumstances of your medical treatment where you suspect that there may have been negligence, please contact me

Suzanne is a Partner and is head of the clinical negligence department.

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