Make sure you're protected against meningitis, measles and mumps - it's crucial that you get your vaccinations so that you can stay healthy and make the most of your time at BU.
As a highly social environment with lots of people and shared space, universities can become hot spots for illness to spread. Not only do these have the potential to ruin your learning experience, but in certain cases can actually be life-threatening. Fortunately, you can easily protect yourself by booking a short appointment with your GP.
Which vaccines do you need?
There are two vaccines that you should ensure you have. The first is known as MenACWY and will protect you against meningitis and septicaemia (meningococcal disease), which can be fatal. The vaccine is administered through one injection to the upper arm and is free to all students under the age of 25.
You should also confirm whether you have had your full dose of MMR which protects against measles, mumps and rubella. Most are given this vaccination at two stages in their early childhood, first as a one-year-old and again at the age of three. However, in some cases people may be missing one or both of these doses and so if you are unsure you should check with your GP as a matter of urgency.
Check for symptoms
There has been a significant increase in cases of meningitis in the UK, a disease that can kill or leave people with life changing health problems. Early symptoms sometimes feel similar to those of a bad hangover, for example headaches, tiredness and aversion to bright lights, which can lead to the illness going untreated among some students until it escalates further. Later symptoms include a blotchy rash, fever with cold hands and feet, aching muscles and joints, as well as severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Download the meninigitis and septicaemia symtoms card.
Measles begins with cold-like symptoms followed by a temperature and blotchy rash on the body, while mumps is recognised by painful swellings on the side of the face that can spread to the ovaries or testes. Both are circulating across England, particularly among younger people. Check the NHS measles leaflet for further advice and the NHS website for information about mumps.
You’ve worked hard to get into university. Don’t let an avoidable illness get in the way of your continued progress. The Student Medical Centre on our Talbot Campus is open daily for BU students, while local GPs including Talbot Medical Centre and Northbourne Surgery are also available to offer help and advice. You can also check our contagious diseases page for more information.