NATIONAL charity Meningitis Now is issuing a warning to Swindon parents as children start back at school for the new term.

September sees the start of the meningitis peak season, so the charity is urging parents, students and teachers to be vigilant to the signs and symptoms and download its free phone app or request a symptoms card.

While children under five are most ‘at risk’ from meningitis, teenagers and students are the second most ‘at risk’ group (aged 15 to 23 years).

It is estimated that 10 per cent of the population carry the bacteria which can cause meningitis and septicaemia, but this increases to about 25 per cent for students.

The phone app and signs and symptoms cards are available by calling freephone 0808 80 10 388, or by visiting