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University of Surrey students urged to get meningitis vaccine after first year dies

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Students at the University of Surrey are being encouraged to get vaccinated against meningitis after a first year undergraduate died after contracting the virus.

John Igboanugo, a Physics undergrad, passed away on Thursday 6th of April during a sports trip to Italy.

Another two students were hospitalised and have since been released. The university has stated that no connection between the three cases has been confirmed.

It has been concluded that those staying in the university’s halls of residence are most at risk, and so all 4,200 students that live in halls have been offered the vaccination against the infection.

Although the vaccinations aren’t compulsory they are highly recommended for the students.

Professor Max Lu, the University of Surrey’s vice chancellor, commented: "We are greatly saddened by the death of our student, and our hearts go out to his family and friends during what continues to be a very difficult time.

"The health and wellbeing of everyone on campus is of the utmost importance. We are working closely with PHE [Public Health England] on a targeted vaccination programme and are reassured that the risk to staff, students and visitors is still very low.”

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. If not diagnosed quickly the infection can cause blood poisoning and septicaemia which is potentially fatal.

Symptoms of meningitis include: fever, headache, vomiting, seizures, confusion, extreme sleepiness and a dislike of bright light.

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