Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord, and can be viral or bacterial. It is potentially fatal and can also result in severe disabilities. It is vital to ensure early diagnosis to prevent long-term disabilities or injuries. Children and young adults are at high risk of contracting the disease, but the risk increases for young adults when they leave home to go to university. This is partly because the large number of students living in close proximity to each other encourages germs and illness to spread (hence the infamous Fresher’s flu!), which can include germs or illnesses that students haven’t previously come into contact with.

Many of the symptoms of meningitis are similar to those of a cold or a hangover, which can make it difficult to detect. Meningitis Now is working to inform young people about the symptoms of meningitis so that it can be caught early and treated effectively, but also about the preventative measures that can be taken.

A vaccination is freely available from local GPs for first year undergraduate students, under the age of 25. It was encouraging for our staff who attended the Fresher’s Fair to see that most of the students were aware of this, and had already been vaccinated.

Our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence team are currently working on behalf of a 16 year old, ‘Master A’, and his family to help obtain the support he needs. ‘Master A’ contracted meningitis when he was a baby but, due to delays in his treatment, he now has severe learning disabilities and will need support throughout his adult life. Our team are working to obtain funding for his lifetime support and needs to ensure that his family are confident that his future is secure, and that he receives the care he both deserves and requires.

For more information

For more information relating to the issues discussed, please contact Sarah Huntbach.