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Meningitis case – University of Reading

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Meningitis case

Release Date 19 October 2006

An 18-year-old University of Reading student is being treated for meningitis. The female psychology student is a resident of Wessex Hall, on the University campus. She went home earlier last week (w/c 9/10/2006) when she started feeling unwell and is now in the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. She has made good progress and is recovering. No other linked cases have been reported. Close contacts of the patient have been given appropriate antibiotics. Students in Wessex Hall have been informed about the case and offered an advice leaflet. The chance of another case occurring is very small. Antibiotics are not routinely given to other Hall residents after a single case as there is no evidence that further cases will be prevented; antibiotics may do harm by eradicating protective strains and sometimes cause serious side effects. Vaccination is not recommended as it is only partly effective against some strains of the organism. It is important to know the symptoms and signs of the illness which are: • a high fever • severe headache • a dislike of bright lights (photophobia) • vomiting • stiff neck back and joint pains • possibly a rash which does not fade under pressure. The management of an outbreak is the responsibility of the Consultant in Communicable Disease Control. The free 24 hour Meningitis telephone helpline is 0800 8800 3344 Further information For further information contact Lucy Ferguson, Senior Press Officer, on 0118 378 7388, or email L.Ferguson@reading.ac.uk

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