In July 2021, the Head of Provincial Health Division reported a record of 61 deaths in one week due to a disease presenting with symptoms of bacterial meningitis, i.e., fever, vomiting, loss of consciousness and in some cases with neck stiffness, in the locality of Panga, Banalia territory in the province of Tshopo.
Preliminary results of tests on nineteen samples of cerebrospinal fluid performed by the Pasteur Laboratory in Paris, France, on September 6, 2021, confirmed the presence of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W. This lead health authorities to declare an outbreak in the Province on September 7. As of this date, at least 267 cases, including 129 deaths, have been recorded in the Banalia health zone, with over 15 the most affected age group.
Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C was responsible for a school outbreak in this province in 2009, with 214 cases recorded, including 15 deaths.
Comment by the Editor: This is another example to show that lack of resources with regard to infrastructure and staffing, result in delayed responses to severe and potentially fatal disease outbreaks in many parts of the world, an unacceptable situation — HJS
Learn more about Neisseria Meningitidis at VacciTUTOR.
By Phillipe Mukumbayi Pharmacist, Specialist in Pharmacology, Specialist in Vaccinology and Drug Development