Meningitis B Case Confirmed At Bristol Uni

8 November 2018, 10:42 | Updated: 8 November 2018, 10:48

Bristol University

It has been confirmed a student at the University of Bristol has Meningitis B and one other is suspected of having it.

Public Health England (PHE) say both students, who are friends, are being treated in hospital in Cardiff and are recovering well.
 
Anyone who has come into close contact with them, like their flatmates, has been offered antibiotics and vaccination as a precautionary measure.
 
PHE is also reminding students and staff of the signs and symptoms of meningococcal infection, which can cause meningitis and septicaemia.
 
They say other people at the university are not considered to be at risk so there is no need for them to take any action or change their routine.
 
Meningococcal bacteria are carried in the back of the throat of about one in ten people at any one time, but only very rarely cause illness. Most people who carry the bacteria become immune to them. The bacteria do not spread easily and only those who have had close prolonged contact with the person, normally family members, or those sharing the same accommodation (such as a shared kitchen/bathroom) are at a slightly greater risk of getting ill.
 
Fiona Neely, Consultant in Health Protection at Public Health England South West, said: "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. The best advice remains for everyone to be aware of and alert to the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia, especially students and their parents.  Early recognition of meningitis and septicaemia symptoms can greatly improve the outcome of the disease. If anyone is feeling unusually unwell, and displaying the symptoms of meningitis or septicaemia, they should contact their GP surgery immediately or call NHS 111. We urge students to look out for your housemates as symptoms of meningitis can look a lot like a hangover ? so it?s important to be vigilant for anything out of character. We would also urge students to register with the Students' Health Service and to take up the offer of the MenACWY vaccine which is available to students as part of the routine vaccination schedule for this age group."
 
For more information about meningitis and the symptoms, click HERE.
 
Any students who are unwell and recognise any of those symptoms are being told to contact their doctor urgently or call the NHS 111 number.