1999 - Meningococcal disease in Guinea-Bissau - Update 2
14 April 1999
Disease Outbreak Reported
An outbreak of meningococcal meningitis, which started in early January, is affecting most of the country with the exception of three regions in the south. The regions with the highest number of cases are Oio (844 cases, 84 deaths), Bafata (349 cases, 56 deaths) and Gabu (344 cases, 75 deaths). The causative organism has been identified as Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A.
At the end of March a cumulative total of 1,307 cases and 158 deaths had been notified. As of 5 April 2,169 cases and 404 deaths were reported. This increase is not only due to new cases but also to more complete reporting.
The national health authorities and international partners including local representatives of the IFRC, MSF, UNICEF and WHO are implementing measures to control the outbreak, the most important of which is an ongoing vaccination campaign.
As the epidemic has extended to affect new areas, the target population for vaccination has been increased. In response to increased need for vaccine French cooperation and MSF have each provided 250.000 doses of vaccines and WHO has supplied a further 100.000 doses.