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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Student death sparks health alert
University of Liverpool - Victoria building
Health officials say the risk to other students is low
A university is issuing some students with antibiotics after a teenager died of suspected meningitis.

The 19-year-old man, a second-year student at the University of Liverpool, was found dead in his room on Saturday.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) believes meningococcal disease was to blame, but stressed that the risk to other students was low.

The student has not yet been named and a post-mortem examination is expected to take place on Monday.

Dr Alex Stewart, of the HPA's Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit, said: "Meningococcal disease does not spread easily from person to person and the risk to anyone else in the student population from this case would be very low indeed.

"Nonetheless, we are treating close personal contacts of the student with antibiotics as a precautionary measure.

We are issuing information and advice to students and staff on meningitis
University spokesman

"We shall also be writing to other students and staff who shared the same accommodation to explain the nature of meningococcal infection and to reassure them that they are not at risk as a result of this case.

"However, we tend to see more cases of meningitis and septicaemia as winter approaches so, to be on the safe side, we are reminding students of the symptoms to look out for."

A university spokesman said: "The university is extremely saddened by this news. Our student welfare department will be contacting the family and we shall do all we can to support them.

"We are issuing information and advice to students and staff on meningitis and setting up a telephone helpline for anyone who may be concerned."

Meningococcal infection is a serious illness that can cause meningitis or septicaemia.




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