PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: RECENT OUTBREAK OF MENINGITIS IN NIGERIA

There is an outbreak of Cerebrospinal meningitis (type C) in Niger State (a boarder state) and suspected one in Durumi 1 in FCT (3 children already reported dead).

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There’s therefore an urgent need to sensitise and educate the communities especially at ALL IDP camps & slums on this.

CASE DEFINITION:

● Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges.

• The meninges are the 3 membranes covering the brain&spinal cord.

• It occur when fluid surrounding the meninges becomes infected.

• Bacterial meningitis is one of the most feared infectious diseases of children and epidemic meningitis can have a devastating impact on entire populations.

• The most common causes are viral & bacterial infections but could be of multiple etiologies.

Meningitis is a syndrome characterized
by:

● Acute onset of meningeal symptoms (stiff neck, fever usually >38.0 °C, and headache),

● Cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis (excessive lymphocytes).

There may also be:

– Altered consciousness/
altered mental status
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Avoidance of light
– Irritability/inconsolable cry.

In infants there may be in addition, decreased appetite, sleepiness, lethargy
& other meningeal signs such as swelling over the fontanelles.

● Viral and bacterial meningitis are contagious. They can be transmitted by coughing, sneezing, or close contact.

● Meningitis is easily spread when people live in close quarters. Being in small spaces increase the chance of exposure.

Examples of these locations include:

• College dormitories/boarding schools
• Barracks
• IDP camps & slums
• Day care centers, etc.

● All ages are at risk for meningitis. However, certain age groups have a higher risk.

Children under the age of 5 are at increased risk of viral meningitis. Infants are at higher risk of bacterial meningitis

● PREVENTION

• Vaccines are available for Bacterial meningitis (available at health camps alongside poliomyelitis immunisation campaign).

Also:

• Avoid overcrowding

• Ensure good cross ventilation

• Personal & communal hygiene

● Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.

Bacterial meningitis can be deadly.

There’s no way to know if you have bacterial or viral meningitis just by judging how you feel.

Your doctor will need to perform tests to determine which type you have.

● Report any suspected case to appropriate authority!

• FCT Public Health: Dr. Doris John – 08033156560
•AMAC: Director (HOD) of health: Dr. (Mrs.) Adeyinka – 08037863384

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About Dr. Ken

Medical Doctor, Publisher, Editor, Novelist, Playwright, Visionary Poet, Activist, Blogger
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