Cases of Meningitis have been reported in three hospitals in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde while 21 people have been killed by the disease in Sokoto State in neighbouring Nigeria. Nine of the more than 30 people affected in Yaounde are reported dead.
The first cases were diagnosed in a few patients in the Yaounde, Center region on March 10 and March 19, according to French language daily, Le Jour. The newspaper reported today that the government blocked hospital staff from informing patients of the outbreak in order to avoid panic.
More than 30 cases were discovered in different hospitals. Eight of patients were diagnosed with the disease in the Efoulan District Hospital while six were reported at the Yaounde Central Hospital. Test results were still awaited for three new suspected cases at the central hospital at the time of this report.
The Nkoldongo district hospital, is reported to have prepared an emergency unit for eventual cases after suspected cases were reported in the Kondengui Prison on March 9. 23 people were affected by the disease- nine of them died; according to Le jour.
Some embassies in Yaounde like the French embassy, are said to have sent messages to their citizens, alerting them, despite the fact that government is yet to make a declaration on the possible outbreak.
Meanwhile, reports say from neighboring Nigeria say the Sokoto State Commissioner for Health Balarabe Kakale has said that 21 persons have died from the outbreak of meningitis in the state.The Commissioner explained that the deaths occurred in seven local governments of Kebbe, Bodinga, Rabah, Wamakko, Gada, Dange/Shuni and Tureta.
Early meningitis symptoms may mimic the flu (influenza)- sudden high fever, stiff neck, severe headache that seems different than normal, headache with nausea or vomiting, confusion or difficulty concentrating; seizures, sleepiness or difficulty waking, sensitivity to light, no appetite or thirst, skin rash.