Four people have been confirmed died from Cerebrospinal Meningitis in Niger state, following the outbreak of the disease in the state.
The state’s Commissioner of Health, Dr Mustapha Jibril, told reporters on Wednesday that the deaths were recorded in Katcha and Magama local government areas of the state.
Dr Mustapha said, about 31 cases were reported, out of which nine have been confirmed after laboratory tests were conducted.
He said disease surveillance and notification system under the state epidemiology unit also noted the rise of cases in some local government areas.
He however said the cases and deaths recorded” have so far remained confined to two local government areas namely Magama and Katcha.”
The disease resurfaced in the country following an outbreak that claimed the lives of over 400 people across Nigeria in the previous year, most of them from the Northern region.
While Zamfara State was the most affected by the outbreak in the previous year.
Disturbed by the outbreak, state governors and traditional rulers of the 19 northern states held an emergency meeting in April 2017, to discuss ways to prevent further killings and contain the spread of Meningitis.
Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole while addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting in June 2017 said, after much efforts to tackle the disease, Nigeria officially declared free of the deadly disease.
Meanwhile, a statement from the incident manager of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), John Oladejo, revealed that 181 laboratory-confirmed cases of Meningitis as at April 2017.
The statement read in part: “As at April 5, 2017, 3,959 suspected cases have been reported as part of the current outbreak, of which 181 cases have been laboratory-confirmed.
“A total of 438 deaths (11 per cent of all cases) have been reported from 106 LGAs in 19 states in the country and outbreak response and control activities are ongoing in the State to curtail the outbreak.
As of this year, Yobe State has also recorded ten cases of the disease with three deaths.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, had earlier this year warned Nigerians of the possible outbreak of the disease and explained that the government cannot afford to vaccinate everyone in the country.
Menigitis is a seasonal epidemic which usually occurs during the dry season.
While it is a vaccine-preventable disease, strain ‘C’ is severe and expensive to treat.
Mr. Adewole had said though the disease is easy to diagnose, the preventive vaccine is very expensive.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache and neck stiffness.
Other symptoms include confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting, and an inability to tolerate light or loud noises.
The disease can also be transmitted from person-to-person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions from carriers.
Measures that can be taken to prevent meningitis include frequent washing of hands, good personal and environmental hygiene, covering of one’s mouth/nose when coughing/sneezing, avoiding overcrowded areas, ensuring adequate and cross-ventilation and generally practising healthy living.