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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Meningococcal Meningitis in Nigeria (Update)

16 Mar 2015

The outbreak of meningococcal meningitis in Nigeria has been confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Laboratory testing has identified Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C as the strain associated with the outbreak.

Between 26 January and 5 March 2015, the Federal Ministry of Health notified WHO of 652 suspected cases of meningococcal meningitis, including 50 deaths. Cases have been reported in 10 local government areas of 2 states, Kebbi and Sokoto.

Suspected cases have been identified in Zamfara state, however, this has yet to be confirmed.

Advice for Travellers

In Nigeria, the meningococcal season generally runs from December-June. Immunisation is available for those considered to be at risk:

  • Travellers who are likely to have close, prolonged contact with the local population.
  • Long stay travellers.
  • Those visiting friends and relatives.
  • Those who will be exposed to crowded areas (e.g. stadia, schools, hospitals).
  • Travellers visiting an area affected by an ongoing outbreak or epidemic.

Further information on meningococcal meningitis.