Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control says the meningitis death toll in the country has climbed to 1,069 in 23 states.
The centre said in a statement on Thursday that 13,420 suspected cases had been reported as of May 9 with a fatality ratio of eight per cent.
“The northern states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi, which were the worst affected, have all seen a drop in the number of cases. Two others which were also badly hit – Kebbi and Niger – recorded no deaths,” the statement added.
The meningitis outbreak hit the north in November last year and in four months, the death toll rose to over 700. In April, it climbed to 813.
Meningitis is caused by different types of bacteria, six of which can cause epidemics.
It is transmitted between people through coughs and sneezes and facilitated by cramped living conditions and close contact.
The illness causes acute inflammation of the outer layers of the brain and spinal cord, with the most common symptoms being fever, headache and neck stiffness.
Nigeria lies in the so-called “meningitis belt” of sub-Saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, where outbreaks of the disease are a regular occurrence.