Rapidly increasing meningitis cases in sub-Saharan meningitis belt

Since early February through mid-March, the number of cases of meningitis by countries located in the sub-Saharan meningitis belt has increased significantly, from 63 cases to 1,639 to 1,964 to 4,473 (most recent data). Deaths increased also from 2 to 126 to 152 to 372 during the same time period. The countries with the most cases include Burkina Faso and Nigeria.

Travellers to African countries in the sub-Saharan meningitis belt, e.g., the Gambia, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, during the dry season (December to June) can reduce the risk of exposure to meningitis by obtaining a vaccination against meningitis prior to travelling in these countries.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Meningitis.

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