By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Since the middle of December 2019, Benin health authorities starting reporting meningitis cases. The situation quickly turned into an outbreak with 77 cases, including 13 deaths (17% CFR) reported in the course of a month.

Benin map/CIA

The high case fatality ratio associated with the current outbreak is of concern

Last week, the Ministry of Health of Benin notified WHO of an outbreak of meningitis in Banikoara Commune, Alibori Department, Northern Benin.

Other those laboratory confirmed, Neisseria meningitides serogroup C is the predominant strain. Fifty-five of the 77 cases reported are in children 5 – 14 years old.

WHO says response measures need to be enhanced to ensure early detection and treatment of cases to prevent further mortality. Furthermore, there is a need to rapidly acquire additional doses of vaccines to extend the vaccination campaigns to neighboring health zones. Finally, the proximity of the affected areas to neighboring Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria is another cause for concern pointing to the need for crossborder collaboration and strengthening of surveillance in these areas during this period of the year.

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