Meningitis spreads further: Abuja, Delta, record 5 new cases; death toll hits 500

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Primary Health Care Development Board on Thursday said it had recorded two fresh cases of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) in Abuja.

The Executive Secretary of the board, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the two confirmed cases were in Abuja Municipal and Abaji Area Councils.

Earlier in the day, Delta State confirmed that it recorded three new cases of the disease at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Asaba, the state capital. Permanent Secretary of the Delta State Ministry of Health, Dr. M. I. Oseji, told SaharaReporters on Wednesday of the fresh cases in Asaba.

“There is one suspected case of meningitis in Asaba,” Dr. Oseji said. “There’s another probable case of Meningococcal Meningitis in Asaba with positive microscopy, but no culture and sensitivity done on cerebrospinal fluid. There’s also one confirmed case of Pneumococcal Meningitis in Warri with positive microscopy, culture, and sensitivity,” she said, adding that there are no deaths recorded yet.

The first case of the deadly disease in Delta State was confirmed on Tuesday by Dr. Ngozi Chukwubeni, a consultant physician at the Warri Central Hospital, Warri South Local Government Area.

Briefing journalists in Asaba, Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, explained that the state is experiencing a meningitis outbreak, explaining that it is only when the occurrence is within the ratio of “five percent per week and per 100,000 persons” that it is considered an outbreak.

Dr. Azinge pointed out that the strain of the disease found in the victim at the Warri Central Hospital is not the same as the one ravaging Zamfara State.

The Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the two confirmed cases were in Abuja Municipal and Abaji Area Councils.

Mohammed said that result from the laboratory test between Tuesday and Wednesday had shown that the two victims were infected with type C of CSM.

He explained that one of the victims in Nuku village of Abaji area council came from Sokoto State where it was allegedly that one person had died of meningitis.

He added that another six-year-old child in Garki Area 8, Abuja, was also confirmed at the Jabi Federal Medical Centre, Abuja.

According to him, these were the only confirmed cases FCT had recorded so far since the outbreak, adding that there are 10 suspected cases in the past where six persons died.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the death toll from the outbreak in the country has risen above 500 and beyond 4,000 cases from a total of 3,959 cases with 438 deaths reported over the weekend.

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, was quoted Wednesday as saying that 490 people have already been killed and 4,637 suspected cases recorded.

Adewole said at an emergency meeting of northern traditional leaders and governors in Kaduna that one billion dollars (or N360 billion) was required to vaccinate 21 million people against the disease in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger and Katsina states.


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