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Meningitis in Nigeria

03 Jan 2019

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)  has issued an advisory on the risk of meningitis. As the dry seasson begins in Nigeria NCDC expect an increase in the number of cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) cases. From 1 October to 18 December 2018 72 suspected cases of meningitis have been reported from ten states.

Between the beginning of January and 9 December 2018 4464 suspected meningitis cases with 318 laboratory confirmed and 360 deaths were reported in NIgeria.

Advice for Travellers

Meningococcal infections are spread through airborne droplets and direct contact with nasal/pharyngeal secretions of infected individuals or carriers. 

Respiratory infections are often difficult to prevent but following basic personal hygiene etiquette when coughing and sneezing can help. Avoiding overcrowded areas such as busy markets and local transport may also reduce risk of exposure but may not always be practical.

Vaccines to protect against multiple strains of meningococcal meningitis for travellers are available: Menveo and Nimenrix. Individuals should consider being vaccinated if they are travelling to a country where meningococcal meningitis is present and where their stay maybe prolonged or they are involved in activities which may increase the risk of exposure to the disease, for example, working in a healthcare setting and living closely with the local population.