Meningitis in Niger – Update

The meningococcal disease outbreak in the Africa Meningitis Belt country of Niger has peaked, according to officials at the World Health Organization. To date, 8,234 people have contracted the serious bacterial disease with 545, or 6.6% of those infected losing their lives.

According to a Reuters report today, the spread of the disease peaked in the week to May 10, when there were 2,189 cases and 132 deaths. In the last week of the month there were 264 cases and 8 deaths.

Niger sits in what is called the “meningitis belt” that stretches across sub-Saharan Africa. PATH, the global health international nonprofit organization says about 450 million people are living in the “meningitis belt” are at risk of contracting meningococcus type A, the strain most commonly found in the region.

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