Meningitis Awareness Week 18th -24th September

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Dear Irish Student Health Association

Young adults aged 16-24 are the second most at risk group of contracting meningitis and septicaemia. Meningitis Research Foundation aims to provide information for students to help them to recognise these deadly diseases should they occur.

 

Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord while septicaemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease. Meningitis and septicaemia can kill within hours so early diagnosis and prompt, effective treatment provide the best chance for a good recovery.

Student accommodation and social behaviour increase the risk of meningitis as the bacteria is spread by close contact such as kissing, coughing, sharing cigarettes or drinking glasses. Research has shown that approximately 1 in 4 young adults carry the bacteria at the back of their nose and throat, compared to just 1 in 10 of the general population, contributing to their overall increased risk. While most students will have had the vaccine which protects against Meningococcal Group C (MenC) meningitis and septicaemia, this age group is not routinely vaccinated against Meningococcal Group B (MenB) meningitis and septicaemia which raises some concern.

Meningitis and septicaemia share the symptoms of many other every day illnesses such as the flu or even a hangover and that is why it is so important that students are aware of the symptoms and know when to seek help. I very much hope you will not have to deal with a case of meningitis and septicaemia this coming year, but if you do please call our Freefone Helpline 1800 41 33 44 for information and support. Additional information can also be found on our website: www.meningitis.org.

Meningitis Research Foundation is a non-government funded, national charity that works to promote meningitis awareness amongst both the general public and health professionals. As a result we have a variety of tailored literature resources. If you would like to order some hard copies of our student friendly symptoms cards or A3 posters please feel free to get back in touch. I would also be happy to visit your college during Healthy Campus Week or at another suitable time to speak to the students directly about meningitis awareness so please feel free to get back in touch to discuss this in more detail.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

 

Caroline Krieger
Medical Information Officer Direct Line: 01 819 6931
 Meningitis Research Foundation, Gardiner House, 64-66 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1