Most acquisition of meningitis bacteria among students occurs in first week of university term

Changing carriage rate of Neisseria meningitidis among university students during the first week of term: cross sectional study

Most acquisition of the bacteria for meningitis occurs during the first week of the university term, reports research in this week's BMJ.

A study of 2,500 first year Nottingham University students, led by Neal and colleagues of the University's Department of Public Health Medicine, showed that the carriage rate of bacterial meningitis strains had quadrupled within the first four days of the autumn term. Students living in catered halls were at greatest risk, with over a third of them carrying the bacteria by December, but students living in all female halls were at significantly lower risk of acquiring the bacteria during the first term.

The gender difference might be explained by different patterns of social behaviour in single sex halls, suggest the authors. But mixed sex halls posed less of a risk than a daily visit to the hall bar which more than doubled the risk of acquisition.


Contact: BMA Press Office
BMJ-British Medical Journal

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