Meningitis alert as university beckons

August 29 2018

PARENTS of children off to university this autumn are being urged to help keep them safe from deadly meningitis.

UK charity Meningitis Now is urging families to ensure their children have been vaccinated against Men ACWY and that they know the signs of the disease and what to do if they suspect it.

First-year students up to the age of 25 can obtain a free vaccination for Men ACWY from their GP, although many will have received this while at school. But this does not protect them against all strains of the disease and they are unlikely to have been vaccinated against Men B, leaving them at risk from this strain.

The charity’s campaign is being supported by Bristol mother Michelle Bresnahan, who lost her 16-year-old son Ryan to Men B in 2010. Since then she has campaigned alongside her university-student daughter Charlotte to raise awareness so that more young people can be protected, raising thousands through the Life for a Cure charity set up in Ryan’s memory.

Meningitis Now offers a free information pack for parents and students, including leaflets, signs and symptoms cards, fridge magnets and year planners – all of which contain lifesaving information. These are available free of charge from www.meningitisnow.org/unis

• Customers and staff at Emersons Green in Sainsbury’s have raised more than £10,000 for Meningitis Now in the last year after one of their colleagues, Izzy Gentry, died from the illness in 2016.