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Cases of meningitis and septicemia (blood poisoning) caused by Men W bacteria are rising, due to a particularly deadly strain. A highly aggressive strain of Meningitis W has prompted health experts to urge young teenagers and “fresher” university students to have a vaccination to prevent the Meningitis W disease.
If you’re moving away from home for higher education you should be vaccinated before the start of the academic term or before leaving home.
With an early diagnosis and antibiotic treatment most people with meningococcal disease make a full recovery. However for about 1 in 10 cases it is fatal or can lead to long-term health problems, including amputation, deafness and learning difficulties.
Early symptoms of meningitis can include:
The Men ACWY vaccine protects against meningitis and septicaemia caused by four meningococcal strains – Men W, A, C and Y. The Men ACWY vaccine is given by a single injection into the upper arm. As with all vaccinations, there can be some side effects, but they are mild. They can include: redness, itching at the injection site, fever, headache and fatigue.
YourGP offers the Men ACWY vaccine for protection against four strains of meningococcal disease, including Meningitis W. The cost is £90 which includes the vaccine and the consultation time. If you would like the vaccine administered by a doctor then the cost is £140.
I needed a quick appointment as I was leaving for America. The doctor listened and allayed any concerns. It was a pleasure to talk to a doctor who wasn’t watching the clock and not paying attention to me. I left confident that if a problem arose I would be able to deal with it until I arrived home. The experience left me feeling confident and positive.