The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Abuja, has reported that an outbreak of meningitis in several states of Nigeria has killed at least 140 people. Meningitis causes an acute inflammation of the outer layers of the brain and spinal cord.
Officials say cases have been reported over the last week in six states and has so far infected more than 1,000 people, the Abuja Centre for Disease Control says. Report shows that this outbreak is the worst to ever have occurred in Nigeria after the outbreak in 2005 which killed at least 150 people.
Vaccination is an effective way of preventing against meningitis. However, a new strain, which may have been imported from a neighboring country is now prevalent in Nigeria and requires a different type of vaccine, Nigerian Minister of Health Isaac Adewole said. BBC reports that the seasonal outbreak has been attributed to cold nights, dusty winds and dry weather, which were aggravated by traditional beliefs, poor hygiene, and overpopulation. Nigeria lays on the meningitis belt, stretching from the Sahel region to the Horn of Africa, where outbreaks occur regularly.