Public Health England staff are aware of the sad death of a student studying at Bournemouth University and are investigating in order to ensure that all public health implications are considered. At present the cause of death is unclear, but meningitis or sepsis remain a possibility.
Antibiotics have been arranged for close contacts of the student and we would like to remind students and staff of the signs and symptoms of meningococcal infection, which can cause meningitis, as well as septicaemia. Please take a minute to visit the Meningitis Now website.
Early symptoms of meningitis or sepsis can include fever, headache, vomiting, muscle pain and fever with cold hands and feet. Someone with meningitis or septicaemia can get a lot worse very quickly. Keep checking them. If someone is ill and getting worse, get medical help immediately.
Trust your instincts – Get medical help immediately
Do not wait for a rash
The highest risk of meningitis is in the first year of university, particularly the first few months. ‘Fresher' students going to university for the first time are advised to have a vaccination to prevent meningitis W disease, a particularly severe strain that is becoming more common nationally.
The Men ACWY vaccine is given by a single injection into the upper arm and protects against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia.
First-year students (‘Freshers’), including overseas and mature students up to the age of 25, should contact student health or their GP if they have not yet received the Men ACWY vaccine; students in their second year or above of university are not included in this vaccination programme.
For further information please contact Public Health England on 0300 303 8162 option 1, option 1.
Information for students
If you are worried that you may have the symptoms of bacterial meningitis, or if you think you have observed them in someone else, seek immediate medical advice from the University Medical Centre on 01202 965378. The Centre is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, term times only. At all other times you can contact the Talbot Medical Centre on 01202 636400 or NHS 111. If the situation appears to be an emergency, call 999.