Meningitis Kills 100 People in Nigeria

by VR Sreeraman on  March 4, 2009 at 12:56 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
A meningitis outbreak in northern Nigeria has claimed almost 100 lives and infected more than 2,000 people with the lethal condition since December, health officials said Tuesday.
 Meningitis Kills 100 People in Nigeria
Meningitis Kills 100 People in Nigeria

"We have recorded 22 deaths in the last two weeks following a resurgence of an outbreak of meningitis which infected 357 people in Gombe state," health commissioner Muhammad Isa Umar told AFP, adding that 11 more died in January.

In neighbouring Bauchi, 10 out of the 200 people who contracted the disease in the past two weeks have died, according to Habu Dahiru, a doctor with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the state.

Health authorities placed northern Nigeria on a state of high alert in January following a meningitis outbreak in the town of Zinder in neighbouring Niger.

Nigeria's nearest state to Zinder, Katsina, recorded its first cases within days of the warning being issued.

A health official told AFP there had been at least 15 deaths and more than 200 infections in Katsina since February.

Nigeria's largest northern state of Kano had recorded 30 deaths from 990 cases since December, chief epidemiologist Muhammad Nasir Mahmud told AFP.

And in the neighbouring state of Jigawa, 10 people had died and more than 300 people had been infected in the same period, the health commissioner there, Tafida Abubakar, said.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the central nervous system. While some forms are mild and resolve on their own, meningitis is a potentially serious condition owing to the proximity of the inflammation to the brain and spinal cord and can lead to death, if untreated.

Source: AFP

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