Meningitis Outbreak; Here’s how to prevent spread of the contagious disease .
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.
The advisory gives prevention, diagnosis and treatment warnings.
- Avoidance of overcrowding
- Sleep in well ventilated places
- Avoidance of close and prolonged contact with a case/s
- Proper disposal of respiratory and throat secretions
- Strict observance of hand hygiene and sneezing into Elbow joint/sleeves
- Reduce hand shaking, kissing, sharing utensils or medical interventions such as mouth resuscitation
- Vaccination with relevant sero-type of the meningococcal vaccine
- Self-medication should be avoided
Early Diagnosis, Treatment and Isolation:
- Very important that all individuals should acquaint themselves with at least the basic knowledge/understanding of CSM and how it is transmitted and prevented
- Strictly adhere to the advice of Health workers on how to protect oneself as enumerated above
- Prompt seeking for medical/health care as soon as CSM or CSM-Like Illness is suspected
- All Hospitals to ensure that appropriate Diagnoses are made including laboratory confirmation and immediate reporting through the surveillance system
- Commence early treatment as soon as the diagnoses of CSM is made
- Restrict mingling with other people once one is diagnosed as a case of CSM
- All Secondary and Tertiary Public Health Facilities should provide free treatment to all CSM Patients