Alisha's friends and family had no idea that she was unwell, and only found out later that she had contracted a deadly type of meningitis called Men C.
The signs of Men C, as with other types of meningitis can be mistaken for lots of other things. They can include a headache, vomiting, muscle pain and a fever with cold hands and feet and are often ignored until it is too late.
Alisha’s mum Michaela said:
“Alisha was a beautiful, intelligent 18-year-old girl who was loved by everyone that met her.
“She was far too young to be taken by this dreadful disease.
Students during their first term at uni are particularly at risk; fresher’s flu is everywhere, not to mention feeling worn out and hungover most mornings! Many people in their late teens and early twenties are at risk, but simply wouldn’t think about meningitis.
Being away from home for the first time can also mean not being near close friends and family, who would look out for you or tell you to go to the doctors if you were sick!
One in four people aged 15 – 19 carry meningococcal bacteria in the back of their throats, and although it is very unlikely to develop into meningitis, it can be deadly.
So the only way to protect yourself - is to be vaccinated. The government introduced a MenACWY vaccine for 17 and 18 year olds, and first year uni students last year. But so far only 35% of this age group went to the doctors to receive the free vaccine.
If you’re 17 or 18, or if you’re about to go off to uni –ask your GP about the vaccine!