One confirmed case, and a second suspected case of meningococcal meningitis has occurred at St Andrews University.
Meningitis Now, Young Ambassador Fiona Yelland, who is studying at the university was among the first students to be informed and is working closely with the university to provide information for concerned students, staff and parents.
As a survivor of meningitis and a passionate advocate for student awareness, the news was an all too real reminder of the risk to young people.
“I wanted to become a Young Ambassador so that I could let others know what the symptoms are and also that the charity is there to help and support everyone affected by this awful disease.
“I would encourage anyone concerned about meningitis, to get to know the signs and symptoms of the disease; it takes no more than a minute and could a save your life.”
Responding to the news, Liz Brown, Chief Executive at Meningitis Now said:
“We were very concerned to hear about these two young people in St Andrews. We are here to support their families and anyone who has been affected and commend the university’s proactive approach in raising awareness amongst the student community.
Although meningitis is very rare and the two cases happening at the same university is likely to be entirely coincidental, it is vitally important that students protect themselves with the MenACWY vaccine and know the signs and symptoms of the disease.”
Up to a quarter of students carry the bacteria that can cause meningitis compared to one in ten of the general population. Over 12 per cent of all cases occur in the 14 to 24 age group, with first year students being at particular risk.
For support and advice on meningitis call the Meningitis Now Helpline on 0808 80 10 388. For more information for students and universities click here.