Bath Spa Uni student dies from meningococcal meningitis

Image caption,
The student was studying business and management

A final-year student at Bath Spa University has died after contracting meningococcal meningitis Public Health England confirmed.

The business and management student, who has not been named, was admitted to hospital at the weekend and passed away suddenly, the university said.

In an email to students, Vice-Chancellor Prof Sue Rigby said she was not aware of any other probable cases.

PHE is working to prevent the further spread of the infection.

Signs and symptoms

In a statement PHE said antibiotics have been arranged for close contacts of the case and information has been provided to remind students and staff of the signs and symptoms of meningococcal infection.

Dr Toyin Ejidokun of PHE said there is "no need for a wider group to take antibiotics".

"The best advice for students is to ensure they are up to date with their vaccinations," Dr Ejidokun said.

In the email, which has been seen by the BBC, Prof Rigby said the university was in touch with the student's family and friends and was "supporting them in any way we can at this difficult and tragic time".

The university urged any student with concerns about their health to contact their GP or the university's medical service, which would be able to give advice including available vaccinations.

Charity Meningitis Now said the strain of meningitis had been identified as MenB which young people "are not routinely vaccinated against".

Chief executive Dr Tom Nutt said the charity was working with PHE to support those affected and urged students to check they had been vaccinated for "MenACWY and learn the signs and symptoms of the disease so they can act quickly if they suspect it".

"Anyone affected or with any questions and concerns can contact our Helpline on 0808 80 10 388," Dr Nutt added.

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Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
If not treated quickly meningitis can be very serious

The Meningitis Research Foundation said antibiotics had been arranged for "close contacts", and that PHE had reassured "all concerned" there was no need for a wider group to take antibiotics.

Meningitis, sometimes known as meningococcal disease, is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.

It can affect anyone, but is most common in babies, young children, teenagers and young adults.

If not treated quickly, it can be very serious.

Meningitis is usually caused by viruses or bacteria, with the viral type being the most common.

Most people make a full recovery from the viral form, while the bacterial form needs urgent medical treatment.

Government advice issued to university students highlights the signs and symptoms they should be aware of, including suffering from a stiff neck, fever, headache and vomiting.

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