Suspected meningitis epidemic kills 745 in Nigeria

Terra Daily – April 19, 2017

A meningitis outbreak in Nigeria has killed 745 people, an increase of more than 50 percent in barely a week, officials said Wednesday, sounding the alarm over the feared epidemic.

“We need all hands on deck,” said Chikwe Ihekweazu, head of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the federal government announced the latest toll from the outbreak, which has mostly affected children.

The flare-up of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) serotype C cases is concentrated in northern Nigeria, where authorities convened a meeting of governors and traditional leaders from all states in the region, said a government statement.

“State governors reaffirmed their commitment to immediate and concrete actions towards halting the outbreak,” said the statement after the meeting, held in collaboration with the federal health ministry and national agencies.

Over 8,000 suspected cases of the disease have been reported across the country over the past five months, some 93 percent of which occurred in five northern states, a statement said.