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Illnesses Requiring Vigilance

Meningitis

Meningitis is a life-threatening disease. Knowing the signs and symptoms of Meningitis, and acting quickly to get medical help can save lives.

THIS DISEASE CAN KILL IN HOURS IF NOT TREATED.

If you have been vaccinated against Meningitis you can still get the disease. If you think it's a bad dose of flu, a heavy hangover or drugs DON'T just leave it.

Check out the symptoms - remember, Meningitis vaccine can't prevent all strains of this disease. If you are feeling ill tell someone. If it gets worse rapidly, get a doctor's help immediately.

Symptoms

Not everyone gets all of these symptoms and they can occur in any order.

  • Severe headaches
  • Stiff neck
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Fever
  • Vomiting repeatedly
  • Severe sleepiness or confusion
  • Rash

If you suspect Meningitis get medical help immediately.

The Meningitis Research Foundation (0800 8800 3344) and the Meningitis Now (0808 8010388) both provide free helplines.

Mumps

Mumps is an infection caused by a virus. It usually starts with a fever and headache for a day or two. In most cases this is followed by swelling and soreness of the glands between the ear and the jaw. Mumps virus can also cause other problems:

  • Men's testicles can become swollen and painful.
  • Women's ovaries may become swollen and painful.
  • Ear infections, swelling of the pancreas and meningitis can also occur.

Mumps infection is usually more severe in adults than in young children. The length of time from becoming infected to feeling unwell is around 14-21 days. People with Mumps are most infectious just before they become unwell and for 5-10 days after. More details on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment can be found on the NHS website.

If you are diagnosed with Mumps, you should NOT come into UCL and attend lectures. Make sure you ask your doctor for a letter, stating the recommended time of sick leave you need. Send this to your departmental tutor.

If you have family who can come and pick you up then go home to recuperate. For many of you this option will not be practical so try to stay in your room as much as possible and avoid social rooms and facilities in the residences (i.e. cluster rooms, common rooms etc.) Your should also notify your hall warden.

If you are worried about the risk of infection make sure you have had your TWO MMR vaccinations. If you have never been vaccinated, are unsure or have only had one MMR vaccination, then go to see the nurse at the Gower Place Practice at the earliest opportunity to get your vaccinations up to date.

More information about Meningitis and Mumps along with a symptom checker can be found at http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/

Page last modified on 04 feb 14 14:37 by Lina Ilieva Kamenova