Nige­ria says menin­gi­tis out­break kills 1,166

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Nige­ria’s health min­is­ter has de­clared that the out­break of menin­gi­tis in the coun­try is over, but only af­ter it killed 1,166 peo­ple, most’, of’ them chil­dren. “We have for­mally de­clared the menin­gi­tis out­break over,” Isaac Ade­wole told re­porters in the cap­i­tal of Abuja on Wed­nes­day. Ear­lier in the week the Nige­ria Cen­tre for Dis­ease Con­trol said that emer­gency op­er­a­tions re­spond­ing to the epi­demic had been wound down fol­low­ing a de­cline in new cases.

“A to­tal of 14,518 sus­pected cases of menin­gi­tis were re­ported from 25 states, with 1,166 deaths,” said the cen­tre in a state­ment. Vac­ci­na­tion cam­paigns were car­ried out in Zam­fara, Sokoto, Yobe and Katsina states, the worst af­fected by the out­break. A new strain of menin­gi­tis C was first re­ported in Zam­fara last Novem­ber and spread to 22 other states in north­ern Nige­ria.

Menin­gi­tis is caused by dif­fer­ent types of bacteria, six of which can cause epi­demics. It is trans­mit­ted be­tween peo­ple through coughs and sneezes, close con­tact and cramped liv­ing con­di­tions. The ill­ness causes acute in­flam­ma­tion of the outer lay­ers of the brain and spinal cord, with the most com­mon symp­toms be­ing fever, headache and neck stiff­ness. Nige­ria lies in the so­called “menin­gi­tis belt” of sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, stretch­ing from Sene­gal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, where out­breaks of the dis­ease are a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence.—AFP

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