The Public Health Protection Unit, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, has been notified of two confirmed cases of meningococcal infection in Strathclyde University students.
There is no identifiable link between the two cases. Both cases are recovering in hospital. Close contacts of both cases have been given public health advice and, where appropriate, treated with antibiotics.
As a precautionary measure information has also been given to students at the University raising awareness of the symptoms of meningococcal infection.
Dr Catriona Miloševi?, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHSGGC said: “We are pleased that both cases are stable and showing signs of recovery.
“Whilst meningococcal disease is very serious and requires urgent attention, it responds quickly to antibiotics and is not easily passed from person to person.
We know that students are more at risk of getting meningitis just after starting university as they are mixing closely with lots of new people some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria.
“The Public Health Protection Unit takes all cases of meningococcal disease very seriously and takes prompt action.
“We encourage students, not just those in Strathclyde University who have received information leaflets, to be aware of the symptoms of meningococcal disease.”
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms can include fever, severe headache, painful joints, dislike of bright lights, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting and drowsiness or confusion.
Two thirds of people develop a rash or red and purple spots or bruises anywhere on the body. The rash does not disappear when pressed with an object such as a glass
The symptoms may not all appear at the same time and may not all be present.
What is meningococcal infection?
There are a number of causes of meningitis, both bacterial and viral. Meningococcal meningitis is a type of bacterial meningitis and is a medical emergency.
Meningococcal infection can present as meningitis, septicaemia (blood poisoning) or both.
Meningococcal septicaemia occurs when the meningococcus germ enters the blood stream and multiplies. It can cause a range of complications including brain damage, damage to joints, loss of blood supply to skin and limbs or the release of toxins that can cause vital organs to fail. In very serious cases, particularly if treatment is delayed, it can cause death.
Meningococcal meningitis is an inflammation of the outer covering of the brain and spinal cord caused by the meningococcus germ. Although it is fortunately uncommon, it is serious in that the germ rapidly multiplies in the space around the central nervous system and can damage the brain and nerves and cause death if not treated immediately. The prognosis is slightly better than with meningococcal septicaemia.
Is the meningococcal infection treatable?
Yes, very much so. The meningococcus germ responds readily to antibiotics. The mainstay of good practice is early recognition and treatment.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected] .