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WHO confirms more Ebola cases in Congo

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The World Health Organisation on Monday confirmed a second Ebola case in Congo. So far there are 19 suspect cases, including three deaths and two lab-confirmed cases. The first case was confirmed in Bas-Uele province in the north-east. The outbreak appears to be limited to that remote area, and there is no need for travel restrictions for the time being. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, a continent-wide mechanism to monitor disease outbreaks, said it had activated its emergency operational centre to monitor the situation in Congo. The Central African country has suffered seven previous outbreaks of Ebola since the virus was discovered in the country in 1976. The last outbreak, in 2014, left 49 people dead. The haemorrhagic fever has been most detrimental in West Africa, where it claimed more than 11,000 lives in 2014 to 2015. The WHO declared Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries that had been most effected by the epidemic, free of Ebola in 2016.

Meningitis: A killer disease Nigeria was not prepared for.

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The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, raised an alarm over the outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis across north-western Nigeria. The first case of the disease was reported in Zamfara State in November, 2016, by then the disease had become an epidemic affecting six states in the northern part of the country. Since the outbreak, about 489 people are believed to have died of the disease with about 4,637 suspected cases reported across the country. Meningitis has occurred in different parts of the world but the highest incidence of the disease is found in the ‘meningitis belt’ of sub-Saharan Africa including Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, more commonly seen during the dry season. In this meningitis belt, the Type A strain of the bacteria was most common, however, it is the unusual Type C strain of the bacteria that Nigeria is currently battling with, which does not even mean that type A has been eliminated totally. Procuring vaccinations and drugs to contain the spread of the deadly disease became a major concern for international health agencies, the federal government, state governments, local governments and concerned individuals across the globe.


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