Nigerian health officials report five deaths due to bacterial meningitis in Sokoto state, according to a Premium Times report.

The five victims in Gada and Wauru towns of Gada Local Government area.

Close-up of a dog's face during late-stage "dumb" paralytic rabies/CDC
Close-up of a dog’s face during late-stage “dumb” paralytic rabies/CDC

In Lagos, two human rabies deaths have been reported at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), according to a Daily Trust report.

The victim histories are as follows:

The first is 49-year-old man who resides in Igbogbo area of Ikorodu was bitten by his three months old dog which he bought six weeks before the incident. He died a few hours after he was admitted at the hospital on Mar. 8.

The second patient was a 33-year-old man from Ajara in Badagry who came to the hospital presenting with a history of restlessness, agitation, hydrophobia and aerophobia six months after a dog bite. He was given a tetanus shot and not rabies PEP after the dog bite. He died on Mar. 13.

The dogs in both cases were reportedly acting erratic when the incidences occurred.

LISTEN: Rabies: A comprehensive interview with Pamela Wilson

According to the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, all mammals are susceptible to rabies. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs, coyotes and cats are the likely suspects. Other animals like otters and ferrets are also high risk. Mammals like rabbits, squirrels, rodents and opossums are rarely infected.

Rabies infected animals can appear very aggressive, attacking for no reason. Some may act very tame. They may look like they are foaming at the mouth or drooling because they cannot swallow their saliva. Sometimes the animal may stagger (this can also be seen in distemper). Not long after this point they will die. Most animals can transmit rabies days before showing symptoms.

Initially, like in many diseases, the symptoms of rabies are non-specific; fever, headache and malaise. This may last several days. At the site of the bite, there may be some pain and discomfort. Symptoms then progress to more severe: confusion, delirium, abnormal behavior and hallucinations. If it gets this far, the disease is nearly 100% fatal.

Worldwide, it is estimated that there are more than 69,000 deaths due to rabies annually.