Students are being warned by a medical charity that they must get a vital meningitis vaccine before heading off to university.
The Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) is alwo urging young people to ensure that they know the signs and symptoms, as some forms of meningitis cannot be prevented.
Meningitis and septicaemia can kill in hours and leave many survivors with serious disability.
MRF is running an awareness campaign through universities and colleges throughout the UK and has symptoms information available in print and online.
Currently all children in the UK are vaccinated against Meningococcal C (MenC) infection but it is now known that protection offered by the vaccine does not last as long as expected, so the UK Government has launched a booster campaign for students entering university for the first time.
Mary Millar, MRF’s Scotland manager, said: “New students are at increased risk of encountering the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease because they are often living in busy halls of residence and in close contact with other new students during freshers’ week.”
The MenC booster is available to all students born after September 1995 entering university for the first time, and anyone under age 25 who has never had a MenC vaccination. Students should get immunised at least two weeks before they go away to study. Further information is avaialble at www.meningitis.org