This Week In The Bmj

Meningococci spread rapidly among new students in first week of university

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 25 March 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:g

On p 846 Neal et al show a rapid increase in meningococcal carriage among first year students soon after arrival at university, probably related to social mixing. University students have been shown to have higher rates of meningococcal disease than people of the same age not at university, with cases and outbreaks beginning a few weeks after the onset of term. The authors provide an explanation for the timing and intensity of disease activity among students. Halls of residence seem to be important in the epidemiology of meningococcal disease among students. Bars, night clubs, and intimate kissing were related to the spread of meningococci.