Number of suspected meningitis cases and deaths reported
Highlight on 2009 epidemiological season
During the 2009 meningitis season, 14 African countries under enhanced meningitis surveillance reported 79 292 cases including 4288 deaths. Nigeria alone reported over 55 000 of these cases, as well as close to 2500 deaths. Niger also contributed over 12 000 of these cases, while Burkina Faso, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo reported the majority of the remaining cases. Since the 1996–1997 large-scale meningitis epidemic, where over 200 000 cases of meningitis were reported, the countries of the belt had not experienced such a large epidemic. This illustrates the cyclical nature of meningitis epidemics, as well as the considerable regional epidemic risk.