A second case of meningococcal disease (meningitis) has been discovered in a DCU student this week, according to the HSE.
The HSE and HPSC have confirmed that they are investigating two cases of meningococcal meningitis. As both cases came to the attention of the HSE, they urged DCU Student Support & Development to contact all DCU students to inform them of the risk.
The DCU student body were first alerted of a case of meningitis amongst their peers through an email, on October 3rd.
While the email stated that it was “very unlikely there will be further cases in the University”, a second case was brought to the attention of students on October 26th.
While two cases of the disease have occurred in DCU, the HSE has confirmed that there is no evidence that there is a link between these two cases. It is yet undetermined where both students contracted their cases from.
“Meningitis can be contracted anywhere and it is impossible to ascertain where an individual may have contracted it,” Claire Bohan, Director of DCU Student Support & Development said.
Meningitis symptoms include: headache, high temperature, vomiting, neck pain, dislike of bright lights, a red purple rash which does not fade on pressure and dizziness.
Student Support & Development stressed the importance of being aware of the symptoms and visiting a GP as quickly as possible should there be any concern. They also urged students to contact their GP should they need any further information.
“Waiting until the morning is not a good idea in the case of meningitis,” Bohan said.
The local D-Doc runs an after-hours service from 6pm to 8am in Ballymun Civic Centre. They can be contacted at 1850224477.
Students will be consulted over the phone and invited to visit the service is there are any concerns.
The HSE urged students to remain vigilant of symptoms within friends and stressed the importance of vaccinations.
“We encourage all students to ensure they are up to date for all appropriate vaccinations including meningitis vaccinations including the meningitis C vaccination,” the HSE told The College View.
Bohan could not comment on the health status of either student, in respect of their medical anonymity.
She stated that there is no particular issues with germs and bacteria on campus that may have caused the illnesses to occur, as “any scenario where there are large groups of people, there will be germs and bacteria.”
Most people who contract meningitis survive, often without any after effects. However, without immediate medical attention and treatment, detrimental effects can occur.