Home News ‘How Nigerians can identify Meningitis symptoms for early intervention’

‘How Nigerians can identify Meningitis symptoms for early intervention’

by Haruna Gimba
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By Iyemah David

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) said Meningitis is a serious disease that requires prompt medical attention for effective treatment.

The NCDC via its official website on Tuesday, said that to ensure early reporting to a healthcare facility, it was crucial for Nigerians to be aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

“Common symptoms of meningitis include sudden high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion, and in some cases, a skin rash.

“It is important to note that symptoms can vary, depending on the age of the individual, with infants showing signs such as irritability, poor feeding, and a bulging fontanelle, while older adults may exhibit confusion, difficulty concentrating, and muscle aches,” it explained.

The public health agency said that early diagnosis and treatment of meningitis could help prevent serious complications such as brain damage, hearing loss, or even death.

It said that by Nigerians being vigilant and recognising the signs of meningitis, they could take proactive steps to ensure early intervention and effective management of the potentially life-threatening disease, stay informed and safe.

Meanwhile, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has urged Nigerians to remain vigilant against meningitis.

“Take action by recognising the symptoms (high fever, headache, stiff neck) and ensuring you and your loved ones are vaccinated,” it said.

The NPHCDA said that to protect themselves from meningitis, it’s advised that Nigerians should take the following precautions:

“Get vaccinated: The most effective way to prevent meningitis is through vaccination. There are different types of vaccines available that can protect against various strains of the disease.

“It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate vaccine for you,” it said.

The agency said that Nigerians should practice good hygiene.

“Meningitis is often spread through respiratory droplets, so it is important to practice good hygiene by washing hands regularly and avoiding close contact with individuals who are sick,” it’s said.

The NPHCDA stated that Meningitis can spread quickly in crowded places, so it is advisable to avoid large gatherings, especially during outbreaks of the disease.

It advised that people should seek medical attention. “If you experience symptoms such as fever, headache, stiff neck, and confusion, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

“Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent serious complications of meningitis,” it said.

It, however, said that by taking these precautions, Nigerians could protect themselves and their loved ones from the potentially deadly effects of meningitis. 

Meanwhile, The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), has also warned that the prevailing weather conditions favoured the prevalence of meningitis outbreak in Nigeria.

NiMet highlighted on its official X account that states like Sokoto, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno are highly favourable for the meningitis outbreak.

It added that the conditions in states like Zamfara, Kano, Bauchi, Kebbi, Katsina, and Gombe have moderate situations with meningitis outbreaks, while other states are places where low or no meningitis vigilance is required.

The NCDC had January 12 issued a public advisory, warning of an increased risk of meningitis outbreak in the country, particularly in the ‘Meningitis Belt’ spanning 19 northern states, the FCT, and select southern states.

According to reports, as of Feb. 29, the Nigerian Red Cross Society revealed 26 deaths from suspected CSM cases in Yobe and Gombe. 

Yobe reported 214 suspected cases with 20 deaths across four schools in three local government areas, while Gombe recorded 95 suspected cases and two deaths from two LGAs as of March 1, according to the State Commissioner for Health.

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