According to Nigerian health authorities yesterday, 31 meningitis C cases were reported in Niger State, including four fatalities, local media reports.
Health Commissioner, Dr. Mustapha Jibril, said the cases were reported in two councils–Magama (27 cases) and Katcha (4). The health ministry has activated all outbreak response mechanisms.
Jibril also noted that there could be a more severe outbreak and higher mortality rate due to the intensely hot weather. Cerebrospinal meningitis outbreaks usually occur in the dry season due to low humidity and dusty conditions and end with the onset of the rainy season.
In 2017, a meningococcal meningitis C outbreak in Nigeria resulted in a total of 14,518 suspected cases of meningitis reported from 25 states, with 1,166 deaths, giving a case fatality rate of 8 percent.
Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial form of meningitis, a serious infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and can cause severe brain damage. Meningococcal meningitis is fatal in 50% of cases if untreated.
Though cases of meningitis occur throughout the world, large, recurring epidemics affect an extensive region of sub-Saharan Africa known as the “meningitis belt” which includes 26 countries from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east.