As of 19 March 2017, a total of 1407 suspected cases of meningitis and 211 deaths (case fatality rate: 15%) have been reported from 40 local government areas (LGAs) in five states of Nigeria since December 2016, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) Disease outbreak news update Friday.

Nigeria map divided by states/United Nations
Nigeria map divided by states/United Nations

Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto account for 89% of these cases. Twenty-six LGAs from all five states reported 361 cases in epidemiological week 11 alone. Twenty-two wards in 15 LGAs have crossed the epidemic threshold.

Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C is the predominant serotype in this outbreak.

The most affected age group is 5 to 14 year olds and they are responsible for about half of reported cases. Both sexes are almost equally affected.

Actions being taken include: 19,600 persons were vaccinated with the meningococcal ACWY vaccine in Gora ward in Zamfara state and 500,000 doses of meningococcal AC PS vaccines and injection supplies was approved by the International Coordination Group (ICG) for utilization in Zamfara State which are planned to arrive on 27 March 2017.

The successful roll-out of MenA conjugate vaccine has resulted to the decreasing trend of meningitis A, however, other meningococcal serogroups are still causing epidemics. The most recent outbreak that has been reported was in Togo due to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W.