TEENAGERS going to college are being urged to get jabbed against a rapidly-spreading and potentially fatal disease.

The call from Blackburn with Darwen's public health boss Abdul Razaq comes as cases of Meningitis ACWY have been increasing in 15 to 19-year-olds.

The vaccination against the disease, which can be deadly,is recommended for young teenagers, sixth formers and 'fresher' students going to university for the first time.

A new report from the UK Health Security Agency reveals that between September and November 2021, 41.5 per cent of meningitis cases occurred among those aged 15 to 19, compared with 11.8 per cent and 14.3 per cent during the same period in 2018 and 2019 respectively

Young people going on to university or college are particularly at risk of meningitis and septicaemia because they mix with so many other students, some of whom are unknowingly carrying the bacteria.

Anyone aged up to 25 who is starting university is also urged to get vaccinated by their GP.

Mr Razaq said: "These cases among young people and students in England are rising and are higher than pre-pandemic levels.

"Protecting young people from this potentially deadly disease is vitally important. The vaccination can save lives and prevent lifelong devastating disability.

"This disease can develop suddenly and progress rapidly. Early symptoms include headache, vomiting, muscle pain, fever, and cold hands and feet.

"Young people and their parents and carers should be alert to the signs and symptoms and should not wait for a rash to develop before seeking medical attention urgently.

"The vaccine not only protects those who are vaccinated, but also helps control the spread of the disease among the wider population.

"I would urge all our young people to get the vaccine from their GP.”