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05 March 2009

Meningitis kills 333 in Nigeria

A meningitis outbreak in Nigeria has killed 333 people and infected more than 5 300 since December, Health Minister Babatunde Oshotimehin said on Wednesday.

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A meningitis outbreak in Nigeria has killed 333 people and infected more than 5 300 since December, Health Minister Babatunde Oshotimehin said on Wednesday.

"As at today, we have recorded 5 323 cases with 333 deaths," he told reporters. The outbreak has affected 22 of Nigeria's 36 states.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the central nervous system. While some forms are mild, meningitis is a potentially serious condition owing to the proximity of the inflammation to the brain and spinal cord, and can lead to death if untreated.

Health authorities placed northern Nigeria on a state of high alert in January following a meningitis outbreak in the town of Zinder in neighbouring Niger. – (Sapa-AFP)

Read more:
Meningitis: 10 quick facts
Africa faces meningitis epidemic

 
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