Meningitis in Democratic Republic of the Congo (Tshopo Province)
12 Nov 2021
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reports a continuing outbreak of bacterial meningitis in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As of 23 October 2021 there have been 2,395 meningitis cases (including 200 deaths) in Banalia District, Tshopo Province in the north of the country.
Meningococcal meningitis is an acute bacterial infection which can affect the brain and cause serious disease. It is spread through sneezing, coughing or direct contact with respiratory secretions.
Advice to travellers
The risk of becoming infected for most travellers is very low, particularly if you are travelling on a package holiday. The risk increases if you are to a region with an ongoing epidemic and you:
- plan having close, prolonged contact with the local population
- plan to visit overcrowded areas such as busy market places, or use public transport
- plan to attend a mass gathering event
- have a condition that affects your immune system
If you are travelling to an area affected by a meningitis outbreak, you should be aware of the risk of meningococcal disease, how it is transmitted, and try to:
- avoid overcrowded areas
- pay strict attention to your respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene measures
See the fitfortravel Meningococcal Meningitis page for further information on the disease.