In a follow-up to a report last week concerning an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis in Kebbi State in north-western Nigeria, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an update on the situation in the African country Friday.
The UN agency reports: Between 26 January and 5 March 2015, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) of the Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria notified WHO of 652 suspected cases of meningococcal disease, including 50 deaths. Cases have been reported in 10 local government areas of 2 states, Kebbi and Sokoto. Laboratory tests have confirmed the predominance of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C in the affected areas, with no other serogroups being identified.
In Zamfara state, there has been a recent emergence of suspected cases of meningococcal disease; however, an outbreak has not yet been confirmed.
They go on to say that a national task force was activated to manage the outbreak. WHO and partners, including Médecins Sans Frontières and UNICEF, are closely monitoring the situation, and providing support to the government of Nigeria for the implementation of a mass vaccination campaign and other emergency control measures. The International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision for Epidemic Meningitis Control has released 204 850 doses of vaccine, with the support of the GAVI Alliance, as well as 5 000 antibiotic vials to respond to the outbreak. Case management and social mobilization activities are also ongoing.