1. ITV Report

North East uni students urged to get vaccinated

With many north east students having just received their A Level results and now thinking about university, Public Health England is warning them to get vaccinated against deadly meningitis and septicaemia.

In particular, the health body is urging students to have the MenACWY vaccine. It protects against four strains of meningococcal disease, which can cause meningitis and septicaemia. Both are aggressive and life-threatening diseases that can be fatal.

All teenagers remain eligible for the MenACWY vaccine up to their 25th birthday but Public Health England says students starting university for the first time are particularly at risk.

Last year, a 19-year-old Northumbria University student died from meningococcal meningitis (group W).

Students are being urged to be aware of the signs of meningitis.

The MenACWY vaccination programme will save lives and prevent lifelong and devastating disability.

We have seen a rapid increase in Men W cases across England in recent years and vaccination is the most effective way of protecting against infection.

Young people are particularly at risk from the MenW strain. Being in confined environments with close contact, such as university halls, pubs and clubs increases the chances of infection if unprotected.

We urge anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Remain vigilant and seek urgent medical help if you or someone you know may be showing signs of infection.

– Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE

Recognising symptoms of infection

  • Fever, cold hands and feet
  • Severe headache, joint or muscle pains
  • Stiff neck
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Pale, blotchy skin with or without a rash
  • Irritability and/or confusion
  • Drowsiness, difficult to wake up
  • Convulsions/seizures

Not everyone will develop these symptoms and they can appear in any order.