Meningococcal disease (meningitis and septicaemia) is a rare but life-threatening disease caused by meningococcal bacteria.
Older teenagers and new university students are at higher risk of infection because many of them mix closely with lots of new people, some of whom may unknowingly carry the meningococcal bacteria at the back of their nose and throat.
Meningococcal disease can cause both meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Septicaemia and meningitis can trigger sepsis, which is a life-threatening response to infection.
Meningococcal disease is rare but very serious. It requires urgent hospital treatment.
It can lead to life-changing disabilities, such as amputations, hearing loss and brain damage.
"Fresher" students going to university for the first time and travellers to Hajj pilgrimage should make sure they've had the MenACWY vaccine to prevent meningitis and septicaemia, which can be deadly.