Following the recent outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) in Nigeria, about 328 deaths have been recorded so far according to the Federal Ministry of Health.
Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) is most often caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides. Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the meninges, the thin covering of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of the disease include stiff neck, high fever, rash, headache, vomiting, and confusion.
The report from the Health Ministry indicated that 90 local government areas across 16 States including Lagos, Osun, Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, FCT, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Cross Rivers, and Plateau; to have been affected with the epidemic.
According to statistics from the Ministry, 2524 people have been affected across the states and131 samples confirmed in the laboratory with majority as meningitides type C.
As a result of the contagious nature of the disease, it is pertinent to educate Mainlanders on the necessary measures to take to prevent its spread.
While the disease can cured if presented early, a statement released by Boade Akinola, Director Media and Public Relations of the Ministry advised that citizens should endeavor to do the following to prevent spread of the disease.
- Avoidance of overcrowding
- Sleeping in well ventilated places
- Avoidance of close and prolonged contact with cases
- Proper disposal of respiratory and throat secretions
- Strict observance of hand hygiene
- Reduction in sharing utensils
- Avoidance of self medication
- Reduction in hand shaking, kissing or medical intervention such as mouth resuscitation
- Usage of relevant stereotype vaccination for meningococcal
While Mainlanders should remain calm on the spread of meningitis, it is however important for individuals to acquaint themselves with basic knowledge of CSM in order to prevent transmission.