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Meningitis Outbreak Kills 17 Students in Nigeria

Meningitis Outbreak Kills 17 Students in Nigeria

At least 17 schoolchildren across five schools in Nigeria’s north-eastern Yobe state have died after an outbreak of meningitis, authorities have confirmed.

Among the deceased are students in primary schools and others in boarding secondary schools, the state commissioner for education, Mohammed Sani-Idris, told the BBC.

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A total of 473 suspected cases have been recorded so far, he said.

Meningitis is an infection which causes an acute inflammation of the outer layers of the brain and spinal cord. It can be life-threatening unless diagnosed and treated early.

Vaccination is an effective way of preventing meningitis.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) had earlier in the year put out a public health advisory on the disease.

It highlighted that the dry season could “increase the risk of infection, especially with crowding and poor ventilation”.

Most cases of the disease in Nigeria are reported in what has been termed the “Meningitis Belt,” which covers all 19 states in the northern region.

Meningitis is when the fluid and covering around the brain and spine get infected and swollen. These coverings are called meninges. When meningitis happens, it usually causes symptoms like headache, fever, and a stiff neck.

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