1998 - Meningitis in Democratic Republic of the Congo
28 January 1998
Disease Outbreak Reported
Meningococcal meningitis group A has been confirmed in an outbreak in Tembo, Bandundu Region which is close to Lunda Norte Province in neighbouring Angola. Up to 25 January 114 cases, of which 32 were fatal (case fatality rate 28%), had been reported. The first case was reported on 2 January and coincided with the return of over 9,000 Congolese citizens from Angola. 13 cases (1 death) were reported in the second week of January, 35 cases (16 deaths) in the third week and 65 cases (14 deaths) in the fourth week. The weekly attack rates based on an estimated population of 46,000 in Tembo increased from 2.2 to 141.3 during the first four weeks of January. A team from the Ministry of Health, WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières has visited Tembo to assess the situation and plan control measures such as a vaccination campaign, training of health care staff, and public health education. Meningitis has also been reported in Kikwit and in Panzi health zones, in particular at Kingwangala and Kahemba. Apparently 80 cases of meningitis were also hospitalized across the border in Angola.