GWENT students heading off to university are being urged to arm themselves with the knowledge to spot meninigitis, as part of a UKwide campaign.

The charity Meningitis UK is offering free wallet-size symptoms cards to all students starting or returning to college or university to try to prevent cases of the potentially killer disease.

Those aged 14-24 are particularly susceptible to the disease, the symptoms of which include a headache, stiff neck and dislike of bright light.

Signs associated with septicaemia include cold hands and feet, aching limbs and a pin-prick rash which can rapidly develop into purple bruising.

Meningitis can kill in just four hours, and Meningitis UK chief executive Kate Rowland said students sometimes mistake the symptoms for a hangover.

“Knowing the signs can save lives because the sooner it is diagnosed, the better the chances of survival,” she said.

A free symptoms card and further information is available from Meningitis UK on 0117 947 6320, or visit where a video is available.