Meningococcal Septicaemia In College Students

Meningococcal septicaemia in college students is something to educate yourself about; here is an article for you!

College students have been warned to watch out for the dreaded effects of both meningitis and meningoccal septicemia by the American College Health Association recently. Both diseases are caused by up to five different bacteria and can develop rapidly, ultimately leading to death in many cases. A large portion of the population is immune to the diseases, and it is estimated that up to 25% of the population are carriers without any serious side effects. Unfortunately for those who are susceptible to the conditions, they are very serious and can lead to permanent disabilities as well as death in many cases. Although only a small portion of the population will come down with either meningitis or septicaemia, the student is now thought to be a prime candidate due to the sort of lifestyle they lead. Very young children and babies are also said to be at risk.

Many students spend their time in bars, clubs, smoky environments, and in restaurants that fall below par in the area of hygiene. This is when meningitis can be caught or spread more easily. The bacteria and viruses that cause meningitis and septicaemia can be passed through kissing, eating or drinking from others' utensils, and from close contact in crowded rooms. Smoking and drinking makes it harder for immune systems to effectively ward off the conditions. It has also been estimated that a student living in a dorm is up to three times more likely to acquire either meningitis or septicaemia than a student living off campus, leaving many campus health centers with a serious problem on their hands.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and spinal chord. Most cases are caused by an exposure to bacteria or a virus, the former cause being the more dangerous of the two. Septicaemia is more serious and is caused by the release of toxins into the blood that break down the walls of vessels. In both septicaemia and meningitis, a rash can develop under the skin due to the blood leakage that may leave red or brownish pin prick spots. A good way to see if a rash may be caused by either condition is to put a tumbler against the affected area. If the rash does not change color or go away with the pressure, it may be due to meningitis. Other symptoms are fever, vomiting, lethargy, severe headaches, a stiff neck, and an aversion to bright lights. It is important to act quickly - if bacterial meningitis is not caught within the early stages, death can come in as short a time as a few hours.



Fortunately, there is a vaccine to ward off the effects of meningococcal disease that the American College Health Association has recommended for college students. The vaccine is called Menomune, and it lasts for 3 to 5 years with minimal side effects. If you haven't had the vaccine, the best advice is to avoid sharing food or beverages, to stay at home when you're feeling run down, and, most importantly, to balance rest, school, and work in an appropriate manner.

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