Public Health England (PHE) is calling for students to get vaccinated against meningitis, following the death of a 19-year-old Northumbria University student, caused by meningococcal meningitis (group W).
PHE has reported that the female student died on 11 September from this strain of meningitis which causes 25% of all meningitis cases. (1)
This latest PHE call for vaccination comes after a previous one made at the beginning of this academic year.
Meningitis W is a more deadly strain compared to strains B and C, with a mortality rate of about 13% compared to 5% to 10% for B and C.
"One of the reasons students are so likely to contract MenW compared to other groups is that they're in close contact with each other. But there's also much more of it about in this age group. Many people are 'carriers' of the meningococcal bacteria, but don't have any symptoms," Sarah Jarvis, Patient's clinical consultant, advised in her recent article about meningitis W and students .
Commenting on this latest death, Dr Kirsty Foster from PHE said: "This is a sad reminder of how devastating this illness can be and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the student who has died."