Don’t self-diagnose

Ben de Souza, just eight weeks into his first year at the University of Portsmouth, had been living student life to the fullest.

The night before, he’d been clubbing with friends from the university cricket club. He woke up with a pounding head, vomiting and feeling sick. He thought he had a hangover and decided to stay in bed. His flatmates found Ben collapsed on his floor so they called an ambulance and he was rushed to intensive care, where he spent five days battling for survival. Ben was diagnosed with an aggressive form of meningitis B, a strain responsible for most cases of bacterial meningitis in college campuses.

Dr Tom Nutt, CEO of Meningitis Now, said, “If your children are feeling unwell, they shouldn’t assume it’s Covid-19 or a hangover.” Ben couldn’t agree more, “I’d say to anyone, whatever age you are, that if you start to feel really unwell, don’t shut yourself away. If in doubt, shout!”

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