A student, due to start her second year at the University of East London died on 27th August in hospital just 48 hours after she’d been diagnosed with meningitis, according to the Evening Standard.
After contracting a strain of Men W, one which is sharply rising in the UK, the student became increasingly unwell even though she thought she just had the flu.
There was no rash on her body, but after an increase in temperature, loss of appetite, aches and pains, her family knew she was very ill.
With her mother sleeping beside her, she became unresponsive on the Saturday morning and was rushed into hospital where she died a few hours later.
A total of 160 cases of meningitis caused by the Men W strain have been reported this year so far. A huge increase on last year’s 134 in total.
The news come after a call from the NHS earlier in the summer for all first year students to get with the MEN ACWY vaccine.
— PublicHealthEngland (@PHE_uk) August 17, 2016
The Meningitis Research Foundation estimate that about 3,200 people get bacterial meningitis and associated septicaemia in the UK each year.
Students are the most vulnerable to the disease, with 21% of meningitis occurring in teens and young adults ages 11-24.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MENINGITIS
- It’s an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
- Early symptoms include headache, vomiting, muscle pain, fever and cold hands and feet (quite similar to a regular hangover)
- The bacteria are surprisingly common and carried harmlessly in the nose or throat by up to a quarter of university students
- Make sure you can recognize the symptoms. If you suspect someone is infected, get them straight to the hospital as this is a deadly disease
If you’re about to start university and are under 25, talk to a doctor about getting the MEN ACWY vaccine. Further information can be found on the NHS Website.
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By Holly Smith