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Meningitis

Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that can kill in hours.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord.

Septicaemia is the blood poisoning form of the disease.

Meningitis and septicaemia can cause symptoms such as a severe headache, vomiting, high fever, stiff neck and sensitivity to light.  Many people (but not all) also develop a distinctive skin rash.

If you wish to find out more details then please look at www.meningitis.org.uk.

If you need to seek medical help then please consult your Doctor or NHS24 or dial 111.

 

Tuberculosis (TB)

What is TB?

TB or Tuberculosis, is a disease caused by a germ (bacterium) that usually affects the lungs, but can affect other parts of the body, such as the bones, lymph nodes (glands) and brain.

Signs and symptoms

TB disease develops slowly and it usually takes several months or years for symptoms to appear. The main symptoms include:

  • Cough which lasts for more than a month.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fever and night sweats.
  • Blood in spit or sputum (phlegm) at any time.

How do you catch TB?

The germ that causes TB is usually spread in the air when a person who has infectious TB of the lungs cough, sneezes or spits. You need close prolonged contact with an infective person to be at risk of being infected. Not all people who become infected with TB go on to have the disease as the bacteria can remain inactive. However, the elderly or those who suffer poor health and have weakened body defences may develop the illness some time later.

How is TB diagnosed

TB is usually diagnosed by a skin test, chest X-ray and examination of sputum or body tissue.

Can you be immunised against TB?

BCG vaccination gives some protection against TB. It is recommended for those people at higher risk of exposure to TB e.g. healthcare staff, children whose families come from countries with a high level of TB and those people intending to stay in high risk countries for more than a month.

Can TB be prevented?

The most important way of preventing the spread of TB is by treating people with the disease and identifying those at high risk of developing the disease.

Is there any treatment?

Yes. Most TB is curable provided that it is diagnosed and treated early. Treatment with a combination of antibiotic pills usually taken over a long period, sometimes up to a year, is required. Many people can be treated at home but others may need to be admitted to hospital, especially if they are very ill or thought to be highly infectious. Once treatment is started people usually become non-infectious after 2 weeks. However, it is very important to complete the full course of treatment to be cured.

What is Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDRTB)?

Multi-drug resistant TB (MDRTB) refers to strains of TB that are resistant to more than one of the standard drugs used to treat TB. Treatment of MDRTB requires a more complex combination of drugs for a longer time. Unfortunately this form of TB, which is rare in the UK, is more difficult to treat and can be fatal.

Contact

The Student Health Hub

The Student Health Hub
St Andrews Community Hospital and Health Centre
Largo Road

St Andrews
Fife
KY16 8AR
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 (46)5777

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