Nigeria reports 1'686 suspected meningitis cases (124 fatal) since early October 2022. The majority of cases have been recorded in the north of the country, but other regions are also affected (see map).
Seasonal meningitis epidemics occur in sub-Saharan Africa primarily during the dry season, usually from December to June. They decline rapidly with the onset of rains. Generally, meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, and X are responsible for these outbreaks. The disease spreads by droplets from person to person. If symptoms (high fever, severe headache and vomiting) occur, a doctor should be consulted immediately and antibiotic therapy started, as the disease can lead to life-threatening conditions within hours. As a prophylaxis, vaccination against the main meningitis strains is available for adults and children over 1 year of age.
Vaccination with a quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menveo® or Nimenrix®) is recommended for stays >30 days or even for shorter stays, depending on the individual risk (e.g., close contact with people, work in health care facilities, heavily occupied accommodation, risk of epidemics). In the case of alerts and epidemics, vaccination is recommended for stays >7 days or close contact with the population.