Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2002 - Meningococcal disease in the African Meningitis Belt - Update 2

06 May 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

Burkina Faso:  As of 28 April 11 899 cases including 1 368 deaths (case-fatality ratio 11.5%) have been reported to WHO. During the week of 22 April - 28 April, the number of cases reported,  652 cases and 67 deaths with a weekly case-fatality rate of 10.5%, indicate a downward trend in the epidemic .

The emergence of meningococcal serogroup W135 in Burkina Faso has major implications for public health in the African continent. A research agenda has been agreed by Le Comité National de Pilotage pour la Méningite (Crisis Committee) established by the Ministry of Health in Burkina Faso and supported in its implementation by a research team consisting of WHO, Epicentre, WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Meningococci, Oslo, Norway, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, Atlanta, United States ) and l'Association pour la Médecine préventive (AMP).  The topics include: a detailed description and evaluation of the risk factors of the current epidemic; an ecological analysis of association between vaccine coverage and epidemics; N. meningitidis seroprevalence and carriage; and the socioeconomic impact of the epidemic. The team is assessing the feasibility of estimating immunogenicity and efficacy of tetravalent vaccine. 

Niger:  As of 21 April 3 518 cases including 308 deaths (case-fatality ratio 8.8%) have been reported to WHO.  The district of Matameye (Zinder) is still particularly affected. La Direction Régionale de la Santé Publique et de la Lutte contre les Endémies of Maradi is investigating the situation in the districts of Dakaro and Guidan-Roumdji where cases are still being reported by the local health teams.