Ethiopia: Meningitis epidemic described as “worrying”

news desk @bactiman63

Since the week ending December 12, 2021, Ethiopia has recorded a total of 1,398 suspected cases of meningitis and 13 deaths (case fatality rate (CFR) 0.9%) have been reported in 11 of the country’s 12 regions.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), since the beginning of the epidemic in the country, four regions (Oromia, Somali, SNNPR, Amhara) have crossed the epidemic threshold and five regions (Harari, Afar, Addis Ababa , Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella) crossed the alert threshold.

The UN agency says Ethiopia’s ongoing meningitis outbreak is concerning as the country responds to multiple epidemics, natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

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Ethiopia is one of the African countries affected by both armed conflicts and natural disasters (drought, epidemics), including the ongoing meningitis epidemic. Although a relatively low mortality rate has been recorded for the meningitis epidemic, it is important that the necessary actions are taken to control it and prevent further deterioration. A mixed etiology (bacterial and viral) has been identified so far, but the total number of samples analyzed is relatively low. More sample collection and testing is needed to identify the dominant pathogen and request the appropriate vaccine for the response.