The University of Bolton Student Services

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Resources brought together by the Life Lounge team


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Meningitis is something all students should be aware of, know the signs of it and what to do if you suspect you or someone know has it.

A few key things to be aware of about meningitis:

  • Meningitis is one of the major health risks for young adults in their first year at university. They are the second most ‘at risk’ group for contracting this disease.
  • Student halls and student housing increase the risks; living in very close proximity to hundreds of people who they have never encountered before, and who come from all four corners of the country (and from overseas). Some of which could be carrying the viruses and bacteria that can cause meningitis
  • Meningitis can make people very ill, very quickly. Getting help, seeing a doctor as soon as possible is very important. If you think you or a friend may have it, seek medical help ASAP- call 999 or go to A+E
  • Vaccines are available to protect against Meningitis (further details can found below)

Below are some of the common symptoms of meningitis, they also often develop quickly

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C or above
  • being sick
  • a headache
  • a rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it (but this will not always develop)
  • a stiff neck
  • a dislike of bright lights
  • drowsiness or unresponsiveness
  • fits (seizures)

These symptoms can appear in any order and you do not always get all the symptoms.

More information on the symptoms of meningitis can be found here> https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/meningitis/symptoms/

Steps you can to protect yourself

Meningitis can be caused by several different types of infections, so several vaccinations are available to protect against it.

Please visit the below NHS website or speak to your GP about getting vaccinated (NHS vaccines are free)


Meningitis is caused by viruses and bacteria spreading. Therefore it is usually spread from person to person by sneezing, coughing, kissing, close human contact, and sharing of utensils, cutlery and similar items.

By maintaining good personal and home hygiene the risk and spread can be reduced.

Please note that the infection is usually spread by people who carry these viruses or bacteria in their nose or throat, but are not ill themselves.

For a complete overview of meningitis please visit > https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/meningitis/