WIKKIDATA: Eleven Northern States Risk Escalation, Outbreak of Meningitis

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has identified about 11 states in the North as being at risk of Meningitis escalation and outbreaks.

In a statement posted on its X official platform, NIMET highlighted Sokoto, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno as among the most vulnerable states.

The agency also listed Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Bauchi, Gombe, Kebbi, and Adamawa as areas susceptible to the disease.

The agency’s alert follows recent reports of Meningitis outbreaks in Yobe state, where authorities confirmed cases in three Girls’ Secondary Schools and at the Federal Girls’ College in Potiskum local government area of the state.

The outbreak has so far killed 17 boarding school students, while three primary school students were also affected.

Many others have been hospitalized due to the outbreak, with 214 cases reported at the Potiskum Specialist Hospital alone, where three patients remain under medical care.

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NIMET revealed that other states, including Kaduna, Plateau, parts of Adamawa, Niger, Kwara, Abuja, Nassarawa, Taraba, Benue, and Kogi, are also at risk of the outbreaks.

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Conversely, states in the southern region of Nigeria were deemed not susceptible to meningitis outbreaks.

SYMPTOMS OF MANINGITIS

Professor Sadiq Isa, a renowned expert in family health, described Meningitis as a disease with potential neurological impact with common symptoms including fever, neck pain, severe headache, heartburn, dizziness, fainting, seizures resembling epilepsy, and aversion to sunlight or bright lights.

In his interaction with the Hausa version of BBC, Professor Isa outlined the potential health repercussions of meningitis, which may include total brain damage posing a risk of fatality, fainting episodes, paralysis or weakness in the limbs, development of epilepsy, memory loss, and sensory impairments such as deafness or blindness.

PREVENTION

Professor Isa emphasized the importance of vaccination as the primary defence against the virus, urging authorities to ensure the timely provision of adequate vaccines to individuals in need.

He highlighted the significance of personal hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing and avoiding sneezing or coughing around others, as the virus is often transmitted through airborne particles.

The health expert also stressed the importance of implementing hygiene measures in places with high population density, such as boarding schools and refugee camps, where many individuals reside.

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