An outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis, CSM, ‘Serotype C’ has claimed four lives in Niger state.
Mustapha Jibril, the state commissioner of health, said that thirty-one cases have been reported out of which there have been nine laboratory-confirmed cases.
He said at a press briefing in Minna that the four deaths were recorded in Magama local government area of the state.
According to him “Magama local government had 27 cases while Katcha local government area had four cases and the samples collected so far tested positive for Serotype C.
It should be noted that 209 suspected cases with 22 laboratories confirmed cases and 11 deaths have so far been reported nationwide.
The Commissioner said that the outbreak has so far remained contained to the two local government areas adding that the ministry of health has activated all outbreak response mechanisms and have taken adequate measures to ensure that the epidemic is contained in a timely manner to prevent further deaths and disabilities.
Accordingly, he said “the State Emergency Operation Center has been fully activated to ensure real-time tracking and response to outbreak across the 25 local government areas.
“Surveillance has also been intensified, including active case search across all wards in the local government areas.”
Jibril said that the General Hospital, Auna has been designated as referral health facility for treatment of cases adding that the referral health facilities have been fully stocked with all the needed medical supplies and consumables including spinal needles for lumbar puncture, antibiotics, intravenous infusions, canulae and personal protective equipment.
He further disclosed that health education, community sensitisation and mobilization have begun, “town announcements are ongoing, town announcers have been empowered to raise awareness at the ward level,” he added.
The Commissioner then advised healthcare providers to practice universal precautions in their day to day handling of patients and body fluids urging them to be alert, familiarise themselves with the symptoms and maintained a high index or suspicion by reporting all suspected cases to the local government area or state disease surveillance and notification officers.
He also called on the public to remain calm and be supportive of public health authorities stressing on the need to avoid self-medication and report any suspected case or symptoms to the nearest health facility.
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