Although there are vaccines available to protect against some types of meningitis vigilance is the best defence.

Teenagers and young people are a high risk group for meningitis and are also more likely to carry meningitis causing bacteria in the back of their throats.

Teenagers and university students are to be offered a vaccination to prevent meningitis W disease

Since August 2015, all 17- and 18-year-olds in school year 13 and first-time university students up to the age of 25 will be offered the Men ACWY vaccine as part of the NHS vaccination programme. The Men ACWY vaccine protects against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia – meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y diseases.

If you are eligible please contact your GP direct to book an appointment as soon as possible.
or alternatively contact the USW Health Service for advice by emailing

This section of our site is intended to provide you with information and advice on meningitis and the symptoms to look for. If you require further information you can contact one of the following organisations 24 hours a day:

The Meningitis Now Helpline – Tel: 0808 80 10 388 (free call)
The Meningitis Research Foundation – Tel: 0808 800 3344 (free call)

Or visit Men ACWY vaccine for more information from NHS Direct Wales

A free phone application can also be downloaded allowing easy access to information on the signs and symptoms of meningitis

You can also watch the short film Meningitis Matters: Tom’s Story, which tells the story of a student meningitis survivor and his friend.