Meningitis outbreak kills 76 in Niger

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Niamey, April 22 (IANS) An outbreak of meningitis epidemic in Niger has claimed 76 lives out of a total of 1,049 cases reported since January, an official source said.

A health ministry source said the most affected were those aged five to 14, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

At least 20 people have died of the disease in the capital city of Niamey.

Measures have been taken since January to fight the epidemic. The government has distributed drugs in hospitals across the country to treat suspected cases.

Over 1,32,000 people have been vaccinated against the disease from February to March in an ongoing vaccination campaign.

In 2015, meningitis killed over 573 people out of 8,500 cases detected in Niger.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges caused by viral or bacterial infection and marked by intense headache and fever, sensitivity to light, and muscular rigidity, leading (in severe cases) to convulsions, delirium, and death.

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