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Meningitis warning for students heading to university

There are calls for students to get vaccinated against a deadly disease before heading to university.

Students across Surrey and Hampshire are heading off this week and next.

Students are at high risk of getting meningitis but there is a free vaccine available.

Lucy Steel’s son almost died from the infection ten years ago: “We never thought it would come to our door.

“The one thing that has stuck is the absolute speed of the disease.

“Between us noticing the rash and him being dead on arrival at hospital, was really a space of around an hour and 10 minutes.”

Lucy’s son survived but many others are not so lucky.

And although he lives to tell the tale, he continues to be affected by his battle with meningitis: “He has a range of difficulties from dyslexia to short-term memory and auditory processing to hearing loss.

“He struggles and the ripple effect of meningitis is massive.”

Lucy is joining calls for students heading off to university to get vaccinated.

Chris Head, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation, said: “We are delighted with the introduction of these new vaccines which we hope will further reduce the number of cases in the UK.

“However, there are still some forms of the disease which are not covered by these vaccines so it is vital that people are still aware of the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia.”

Visit the NHS Choices website for details on how to get the vaccine

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