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NCDC warns states to step up for meningitis outbreak season

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has warned states to brace up for outbreak of meningitis, as the yearly cycle of the disease starts this November until next June.

At least 26 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, fall within the defined meningitis belt across Africa.

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At least 12 cases suspected to be meningitis have already been reported, but none was confirmed by laboratory tests.

Nigeria saw a massive outbreak in 2016, and support from states help reduced the 2017 outbreak by 79%, according to the NCDC.

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“It is possible to prevent more cases and deaths this season, if we prepare early,” the centre warned in its weekly editorial.

It said the announcement is a wakeup call for states to be “better prepared to respond in event of an outbreak.”

Among steps to prepare, states have to strengthen active surveillance for cases suspected to be meningitis in health facilities and communities and notify the NCDC immediately.

In each case, cerebrospinal fluid is to be collected and sent to a public health laboratory.

All 26 states are also to set up an incident management system in anticipation of an outbreak.

They are also to procure and position Ceftriaxone, intravenous fluids and other medical supplies for immediate case management.

This time last year, eight suspected cases were reported in six states, according to the NCDC.

Some 4,380 infections suspected to be meningitis have  been reported since the start of the year.

A total 318 of them tested positive for meningitis and 358 people have died from it.

For the same period last year, a total 9,828 cases suspected to be meningitis were reported across 33 states, and 602 people died from it.


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