Sunday , September 27 2020

Student at Spa Spa University died after contracting meningitis | Society


A student at Bath Spa University died after contracting meningococcal meningitis.

Public Health England has said it is co-operating with the university, NHS partners and the Bath and North East Somerset council after the death.

Antibiotics have been prepared for close contact with the student, with fellow students and staff reminding them of the signs and symptoms of meningococcal infection.

The infection can cause septicemia as well as meningitis.

Dr Toyn Echidon, a public health consultant in southwest England, said: "We are very sad to hear about the student's death and our thoughts are with their family, friends and the university community.

"We understand there will be concern among students, staff and parents after this death and we follow national guidelines to reduce the risk of infection spreading in close contact with the household.

"Those who attended classes or spent a short time with the student are not classified as close contacts with the household."

Dr Echidokun said there was "no need for a wider group" to take antibiotics, but students needed to make sure they were up to date with vaccinations and be warned of the signs and symptoms of the disease.

These include vomiting, severe headaches, unexplained fever, dislike of bright lights, neck stiffness, untreated rash, drowsiness and altered consciousness.

Anyone who is feeling "unusually good" and shows such symptoms should call their doctor immediately or call 111, Dr. Ejidokun said.

The type of meningitis in the case is confirmed as group B, which is not covered by routine teenage vaccination.

Rob Dawson, director of support for the Meningitis Research Foundation, said: "We are thrilled to learn of this tragic death and our thoughts and condolences are with family and friends.

"About one in five teenagers carry meningococcal bacteria harmlessly to the back of their nose and throat, but it is unusual for bacteria to attack the body and cause disease.

"Meningococcal bacteria are transmitted from person to person in close contact with others, such as coughing, sneezing, kissing and so on.

"However, we usually have to be in very close or regular contact with someone for the bacteria to pass between us. Even when that happens, most of us will not get sick.

"We encourage everyone to accept the offer of vaccines available to them to protect themselves and their families.

"However, there are still no vaccines to prevent all forms of the disease, so it is necessary for people to be aware of the symptoms."

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