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  1. ITV Report

University of Bristol students receive treatment for Meningitis B

A student at the University of Bristol is currently receiving treatment for meningitis. Photo: Meningitis Now

Two students at the University of Bristol are currently receiving treatment for Meningitis B.

The two friends, who are at a hospital in Cardiff, are said to be recovering well.

Public Health England confirmed they are working with the university to make sure other students who shared accommodation with them have not contracted the disease as well. Antibiotics and vaccinations have been arranged for close contacts as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of any additional cases.

We understand that there will be concern among students, staff and parents following these cases, and we are following national guidelines in implementing control measures such as eliminating carriage in close contacts to reduce spread of infection.

It’s important to reassure all concerned that apart from the very close contacts that are being offered antibiotics and vaccination, there is no need for a wider group of students or staff to take antibiotics or be vaccinated."

– Fiona Neely, Consultant in Health Protection at Public Health England South West
  • The meningococcal infection can cause meningitis and septicaemia.

Around one in ten people can carry the meningococcal bacteria, which can cause meningitis, in the back of the throat of at any one time, but it rarely leads to an illness.

PHE says most people who carry the bacteria become immune to them, nor is the bacteria spread easily.

Antibiotics are being given to students who shared the same accommodation. Credit: ITV West Country
  • What are the symptoms of meningitis?

The symptoms of meningitis include a high temperature (fever) of 38ºc or above, chills, sweats, aches and pains, coughing up mucus with blood, breathing difficulties (more than 30 breaths a minute), chest pains, drowsiness or experiencing confusion.

  • Who is at risk of developing meningitis?

Usually only those who have had close, prolonged contact with a person who already has meningitis, such as family members or those sharing the same accommodation, have a slightly greater risk of getting ill.

More information about meningitis and its symptoms is available on the NHS Choices website or from the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Any students who feel unwell and recognise any of the symptoms is advised to contact their doctor urgently or call NHS 111.