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Meningococcal disease in students at Fallowfield Campus

07 Apr 2011

Letter from the Health Protection Agency, Greater Manchester Health Protection Unit

   

Dear Staff member

I am writing to inform you that since the middle of March 2011 three students who are resident in accommodation in Fallowfield campus have been confirmed to have meningococcal infection. Two of the students live in Green Court, Owens Park and the third in Spencer House, Woolton Hall. In accordance with national expert guidance students and hall tutors who are close contacts have been offered a single dose of an antibiotic called ciprofloxacin.

This letter is to reassure students and staff who are not resident at Green Court or Spencer Block, Woolton Hall that they do not require antibiotics. If you have visited, or live in other parts of Fallowfield campus, or you have friends who have had antibiotics because they live at Green Court or Spencer Block, you can be reassured that you are not at increased risk of meningococcal infection and do not require antibiotics.

However, anyone can become ill with meningococcal infection and most cases have had no link to anyone else with the infection. Although you will not be given antibiotics it is still very important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this illness. The meningococcal bacteria can cause either septicaemia (blood poisoning) and/or meningitis. If any combination of the following signs and symptoms develop you should seek medical help straight away.

Meningitis

  • Severe headache
  • Fever
  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Neck stiffness
  • Vomiting
  • Discomfort from bright lights

Septicaemia

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Rash that does not fade when you press on it with a finger or a glass tumbler
  • Rapid breathing
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Joint or muscle pain

Not all of these signs and symptoms may show at once.

You may find the following 24 hour helplines useful if you require any general information on meningococcal infection:

Yours sincerely

 

Dr Erika Duffell
Consultant in Health Protection