A meningitis outbreak has killed 931 people in four West African countries since January, with most of the deaths occurring in Nigeria, the UN children's fund said Wednesday.
"Four countries of West Africa are affected with a total of 13,516 cases and 931 deaths," UNICEF said.
"Nigeria is the most affected with 9,086 cases and 562 deaths. Niger reports 2,620 cases and 113 deaths. Burkina Faso reports 1,756 cases and 250 deaths. Mali reports 54 cases and six deaths."
Meningitis causes inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.
According to UNICEF, it can spread through sneezing and coughing. The disease mainly affects children and young adults aged 1-30, it said.
Even when the disease is diagnosed early, five percent to 10 percent of patients die, typically within one or two days of the onset of symptoms, according to the World Health Organisation. Most victims suffer irreversible neurological consequences.