Schools in South Tyneside are being urged to ensure their pupils are protected from meningitis.
The charity Meningitis Now has called on headteachers to play their role in as over one million schoolchildren in Years 9 and 10 are being offered a new vaccine for the first time.
The vaccine was introduced in August after a rise in cases of the illness in teenagers – the second most at risk group after babies and toddlers.
Chief executive of Meningitis Now Sue Davie said: “Teenagers are more likely to carry the bacteria that can cause meningitis, so it’s vital that they are not complacent about the threat of this deadly disease.”
Symptoms of the disease can include drowsiness, confusion, fever with cold hands and feet and a rash that does not fade under pressure.
Meningitis Now suggest seeking urgent medical help if the disease is suspected.
For more information, call 0808 8010 388 or visit www.meningitis.now.org