By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

In a follow-up on the meningitis outbreak in Panga, Banalia territory in the Kisangani district of Tshopo Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as of October 4, 2021, 1,470 cases have been reported including 192 deaths (CFR= 13.1%).

Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC

Fourteen samples have been confirmed for Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W.

Since 2015, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has reported a high number of suspected cases of meningitis. Parts of the country lie within the African meningitis belt, where bacterial meningitis is endemic and also experiences epidemics, with 6000 to 10,000 suspected cases reported annually. However, only a very small proportion (0-2%) of cases are laboratory confirmed each year.

In Tshopo Province, which is in the African meningitis belt, the last meningitis epidemic was reported in November 2009, with 214 cases and 18 deaths (case-fatality ratio of 8%). In May 2016, the province organized a preventive vaccination campaign against meningitis A during which almost 1.7 million people aged between 1 and 29 years were vaccinated. Since then, passive surveillance has been implemented in the province as part of integrated disease surveillance.

Meningococcal meningitis is associated with a high case-fatality ratio (up to 50% when left untreated) and a high incidence (over 10%) of severe sequelae.