YOUNG VOICES

Second Student Contracts Meningitis At Liverpool Hope University

21/11/2014 15:27 GMT | Updated 24/11/2014 08:59 GMT

It has been confirmed that a second Liverpool Hope University student is suffering from meningitis, two weeks after another died from the disease in the same halls of residence.

The 18 year-old woman is being treated in hospital and lives in the same building as Alisha Bartolini, also 18, who died on November 1.

Alisha was found collapsed in her room at the halls on Hope Place Campus. Tests confirmed she died of meningitis. The second student is said to be recovering well.

alisha bartolini

Alisha Bartolini died on November 1

Writing on the Huffington Post UK in July, the chief executive of Meningitis Research Council, Chris Head, advised students to ask for a booster vaccination at their campus medical centre or local GP.

He wrote: “It is vital that UK students are aware that there is a new freely available Meningitis C booster, which they need before they head off to university, as although meningitis can strike anyone at any age, young adults are the second most at risk group.”

All students can enquire with their GP and take up the booster if required.

Dr Joanna Cartwright at Public Health England’s Liverpool Centre, said: “We understand students will be concerned, especially due to the recent very sad death of a student from meningococcal infection and a second student ill with the same infection from Liverpool Hope University.

“Meningococcal C disease is a rare but life-threatening infection that occurs mainly in children and young adults. The meningococcal bacteria can be carried in your nose without causing any harm. Antibiotics clear it from your nose so you can’t pass it on to others and vaccination will give long term protection.

“Students starting university and mixing with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria, are at risk of infection.

“As a precautionary measure, following the second confirmed case at Liverpool Hope University, we are advising all university students in Hope University to ensure they get vaccinated against meningococcal C (MenC) infection if they haven’t already done so.

“In addition we are urging all students under 25-years-old in other universities in Merseyside to check they are vaccinated against meningococcal C (MenC) infection.

"In Merseyside the MenC vaccination is available to students via their university health centre or GP. If you can’t remember if you have been vaccinated already, the best thing to do is to check with your doctor. If in doubt, there is no harm in having an extra dose.”

A statement on the Liverpool Hope student union website said: “Any immediate contacts of students who have been confirmed as having developed the infection have been or are being given an antibiotic to help prevent further spread.

“Public Health England has advised the University that there is no cause for concern for the wider University community and that it is safe for staff and students to continue to attend the University as normal.”