In Niger 545 people dead from meningitis, WHO says epidemic has peaked

The global health body said that the epidemic was worrying and unprecedented because it was a strain not normally found in Africa and the appropriate vaccine was in short supply.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the meningitis epidemic in Niger has peaked as over 545 people out of 8,234 people who caught the disease have been killed so far.

The global health body said that the epidemic was worrying and unprecedented because it was a strain not normally found in Africa and the appropriate vaccine was in short supply.

According to WHO spokesman, Cory Couillard, the spread of the disease peaked in the week to May 10, when there were 2,189 cases and 132 deaths, and in the last week of the month there were 264 cases and 8 deaths.

According to Reuters, Meningitis is common across the "meningitis belt" from Senegal to Ethiopia in the dry season between December and June.

In January-April this year, 17 countries including Niger, Ghana and Nigeria reported a total of 11,838 cases and 910 deaths.

This is according to a WHO report published on Sunday which said all the countries registered  "epidemics" of the disease.

 

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