Meningitis & Septicaemia   


Meningitis C Booster Vaccination

The meningitis C vaccine - better known as Men C - protects against infection by meningococcal group C bacteria,  meningitis and septicaemia.

From late August 2014, students under the age of 25 who are starting university will NEED to have a catch-up booster of the Men C vaccine. This student catch-up programme will continue for several years until all university entrants have received a Men C teenage booster. Anyone under the age of 25 who hasn't yet received Men C vaccination can have a single catch-up dose on the NHS.

If you do not receive this booster you can become extremely ill and will need urgent treatment. Once you have registered, call 01904 724775 and book an appointment for you Men C Vaccination. If you are unsure to whether you have had the booster, we can help you find out.

For more information have a look at the NHS Men C leaflet.

Meningitis and Septicaemia

These a re serious diseases that can be deadly.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Septicaemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease.

Students need to be vaccinated against meningitis C ideally before coming to university. If you have not been previously vaccinated, it can be done by the university doctor.

There is no single vaccine that can prevent all forms of meningitis and septicaemia. Vaccinations only give protection against the group C strain. Students need to be vigilant against the B strain.

Symptoms include: meningitis-rash.jpg

  • High temperature, being violently sick
  • Severe headache
  • Neck stiffness (can’t touch your chin to your chest)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Feeling drowsy or lethargic
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Rapid health deterioration
  • Rash of tiny red/purple pin prick spots which may spread to look like fresh bruising. In most cases the rash does not disappear when pressed firmly, for example if you were to press a glass against it.

Symptoms can appear in any order, and not all of them (including a rash) are always present. Do not wait for all the symptoms to appear. If you are concerned, seek medical advice straight away.

What to do if you suspect meningitis or septicaemia:

  • Do not wait for all the symptoms to appear seek medical advice immediately.
  • Explain why you are concerned describing the symptoms carefully. Ask for advice.
  • Be prepared to insist and ask if it could be meningitis. If it is, early diagnosis and treatment are vital.
  • If your doctor is unavailable, go to your nearest A&E department. Do not delay.
  • If someone is ill and getting worse, even if they have already had medical attention, seek medical attention again.

Students are particularly at risk as symptoms can appear flu-like or similar to that of a bad hangover. If you are concerned, check your symptoms. If you feel particularly unwell, tell someone. If your friend looks very ill, stay with them. If you or a friend experiences a rapid deterioration in health, get medical help immediately.

Flu, hangover or meningitis?

Symptoms may appear similar to flu or a hangover. But watch out specifically for:

  • A headache so severe, no relief is obtained from aspirin or paracetamol
  • To move your head off the pillow is agonisingly painful
  • The patient may develop fear of the light as it causes worsening of the headache
  • The patient becomes drowsy, withdrawn and uncommunicative
  • They may develop a rash (discrete spots rather than pinpricks) which do not fade when a glass is pressed on them
  • The patient is obviously extremely unwell and getting rapidly worse.
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