By Émer O’Toole, News Editor
The University has issued a warning after two of its students were diagnosed with meningitis.
An email was sent as a “precaution” to “the whole university community” on Thursday night, detailing the likely signs and symptoms.
The symptoms can include fever, severe headache, aversion to bright lights and a rash or bruise that does not disappear when pressed with a cold glass.
The two cases are thought to be unrelated and it was reported that both students are stable and showing signs of recovery in hospital.
One of the students diagnosed is reported to be studying Computer Science and Law and the other is studying Education and Psychology.
In the email, the university’s director of student experience and enhancement, Veena O’Halloran, said that the affected students’ close contacts have already been identified and given medical advice.
She continued: “The bacteria which cause the illness are not easily passed from person-to-person, and only those who have had prolonged close contact require antibiotics.”
Student president Gary Paterson said: “We are encouraged by the university’s pro-active response to this issue and are happy that they have informed students at the earliest instance.
“Our thoughts are with the students involved and we are confident that, because it is two unconnected cases, that the situation is stable.”
The University will work closely with the public health unit at the NHS.
In a statement, a spokesperson from the NHS warned that students are most at risk of the disease, after babies and young children.
He said: “As a student you are more at risk of getting meningitis just after starting university as you will be mixing closely with lots of new people some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria.”
Students are advised to contact their GP if they develop symptoms, and if they have not been vaccinated against the ‘C’ strain of meningitis.
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