Students in Preston put on meningitis alert

Thousands of students in Preston have been put on meningitis alert after a case of the dangerous illness was confirmed in the city.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 12:38 pm

University bosses have revealed a UCLan undergraduate was treated in hospital last month, with Public Health England administering antibiotics to close contacts as a precaution.

“No further cases were diagnosed,” said a spokesperson for UCLan.

“The university’s community has been reassured that, although the risk of another case arising is very low, everyone should be aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis.”

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UCLan's Preston campus where a student was diagnosed with meningitis last month,

The case of meningococcal infection was identified before Christmas after a student fell ill.

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Adolescents are particularly susceptible to meningitis and UCLan puts out regular advice to its students to be aware of the risks.

The university advertises itself as “meningitis aware” and offers the MenACWY vaccine - usually given to schoolchildren in years 8 and 9 - at its medical centre.

The meningitis vaccine is available at UCLan's medical centre.

The spokesperson said: “UCLan was an early adopter of the Meningitis Now accreditation scheme and runs regular campaigns encouraging students to obtain their vaccinations.

"Early recognition of meningitis and septicaemia symptoms can greatly improve the outcome of the disease and so anyone who is concerned about any of the symptoms, at any time, should seek medical advice immediately or call NHS 111.”

UCLan has a student population of approaching 38,000, mainly based at its Preston city centre campus.