The outbreak of meningitis in some northern states in Nigeria is the worst since 2009 when about 156 people died.
Since December 2016 when the current outbreak was noticed, meningitis has killed 211 people (a case fatality rate of 15%), with a total of 1407 suspected cases of meningitis in five states of Nigeria.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto account for 89 percent of all the cases and 22 wards in 15 of the affected 26 local government areas in all states have crossed the “epidemic threshold”.
“The most affected age group is five to 14 year old and they are responsible for about half of reported cases. Both sexes are almost equally affected,” WHO said in its report for the meningitis epidemiological week 11.
According to WHO, meningitis is an inflammation of d meninges with stiff neck, fever – usually of 38°C, headache, altered consciousness/altered mental status, nausea and vomiting among the symptoms.
There are fears that the outbreak can easily spread in places where people live in close quarters.
Currently, WHO is collaborating with the National Primary health Care Development Authority, UNICEF, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory training Programme, eHealth Africa, Médecins Sans Frontières, Rotary International, and Nigeria Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide support to this outbreak.