Emergencies preparedness, response

Meningococcemia-like illness in the Philippines

11 January 2005

The Ministry of Health, Philippines has reported a total of 33 cases and 19 deaths, case fatality ratio of 58%, of a meningococcemia-like illness in Baguio City. A total of 8 cases has been confirmed by blood culture as Neisseria Meningitidis A. However, the clinical presentation and the high case fatality ratio observed are unusual in epidemic meningococcal disease. Therefore, further epidemiological and laboratory investigations are needed to better characterize the cause and extent of the outbreak.

An expert in meningitis from WHO will be assisting the Ministry of Health in its investigations. He will be joined by a laboratory expert and an epidemiologist from the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.