Teens urged to be immunized against meningitis

Public Health England (PHE) recently encouraged teenagers to receive the MenACWYvaccine to protect themselves from meningitis as well as septicaemia, as the illness always peaks during the winter months.

People 18 and 19 can receive the MenACWYvaccine for free.

“As students head home for the winter break, we urge them to contact their [physician] to get vaccinated, if they haven’t already done so,” Mary Ramsay, PHE's head of immunization, said. “Think of it as an early New Year’s resolution and keep yourself and your friends safe by getting vaccinated.”

Meningococcal disease increases from December to March, making this time of year the most dangerous for young people.

“We must all remain alert to the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease and seek urgent medical attention if there is any concern,” Ramsay said. “The disease develops rapidly and early symptoms can include headache, vomiting, muscle pain and fever with cold hands and feet. Be aware of all signs and symptoms and trust your instincts: don’t wait for a rash to develop before seeking urgent medical attention.”

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Public Health England

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