Meningitis spreads to C/River State, 1 dead, 23 hospitalized

Chidi Samuel || Cross River became the latest state to witness the outbreak of dreaded Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM). One person is already dead while 23 others are currently receiving treatment at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).

The victim, a 12-year-old Master Paul Ogar, was brought  from Ogoja Local Government Area of the state with the disease which eventually led to his death

The state commissioner of Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong who visited UCTH on Wednesday, said her ministry was doing its best to curb the outbreak, adding that Cross River was among the 16 states with the outbreak of CSM in Nigeria.

According to her, “Before now, we have actually been having sporadic cases of CSM, but it has been on the increase this year and this is not normal for Cross River.

“We have set our state team in motion and the epidemiologist’s department is currently on top of the situation carrying out surveillance in all quarters.

“Another notable thing is that these cases were mainly recorded in Ogoja and Yala Local Government areas of the stated.

“We are working with the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that we curb this outbreak and hoping that we get the vaccination for the symptoms,’’ the commissioner said.

She urged residents to increase their personal hygiene, especially washing of hands, avoiding overcrowded places and direct contact with people coughing or sneezing.

“People living in overcrowded conditions, poorly ventilated houses and generally poor sanitary conditions are very vulnerable to respiratory infections and this encourages the growth and survival of the bacteria

“Incubation periods for CSM vary from 2 to 10 days with symptoms such as but not limited to stiff neck, high fever, headache, vomiting, and confusion.

“Early treatment can help prevent serious long-term consequences such as deafness, blindness, epileptic seizures and brain damage,’’ she said.