76 people have been confirmed dead in an outbreak of meningitis epidemic in Niger Republic. The epidemic started in January and over 1000 cases have since been reported.

Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis may develop in response to a number of causes, usually bacteria or viruses, but meningitis can also be caused by physical injury, cancer or certain drugs. The disease is marked by intense headache and fever, sensitivity to light, and muscular rigidity, leading in severe cases to convulsions, delirium, and death.

Health Ministry reports that those majorly affected are those between the ages of five and fourteen. The ministry added that the government has distributed drugs in hospitals across the country to treat any suspected cases. Over 132,000 people have been vaccinated against the disease from February to March in an ongoing vaccination campaign

Author: Ope Adedeji