Meningitis is a severe, acute
inflammation of the coverings of the brain and spinal
cord (meninges). The disease is caused by different
micro-organisms, viruses and bacteria and exhibits
signs/symptoms including stiff neck, vomiting, nausea,
severe headache, fever, seizures, altered consciousness,
photophobia, and coma. In January 2020, suspected
cases of meningitis were reported at the Nandom
District Hospital. Eventually, many more cases were
recorded in health facilities in other districts.
We conducted investigations to;
identify the causative agent of outbreak
determine the magnitude and factors responsible for
We defined suspected meningitis case as
anyone presenting with sudden headache and fever
(Temp > 38.0 °C) with one of the following signs: neck
stiffness, altered consciousness, convulsions, and a
bulging fontanelle (infants). We conducted case
searches at health facilities and at community levels.
Contacts of confirmed cases were identified, line-listed,
and followed up for 21 days. Lumbar puncture was
performed on all suspected meningitis cases and
cerebra spinal fluid (CSF) collected for laboratory
isolation of causative organism. We conducted a
descriptive data analysis.
A total of 381 suspected cases with 50 deaths
(CFR = 13.1%) were recorded. Majority, 53.3%
(203/381) were males. Of the 381 cases, 65 were
confirmed with Streptococcus pneumoniae and
Neisseria meningitides X(NmX) as the causative agents.
The outbreak peaked in week 11 with 40 cases. The
overall attack rate (AR) was 44.1/100,000 population.
District specific ARs were; Jirapa; 66.9/100,000,
Nadowli; 143.1/100,000, Nandom; 192.5/100,000.
Female and male specific AR were 20.5/100,000 and
23.4/100,000 respectively. The most, 49.6% (189/381)
affected age group was 15-29 years. Neck pain (57.5%),
fever (73.8%), and headache (36.0%) were the main
sign and symptoms.
As expected for streptococcus to be
responsible for outbreaks, Nmx was rather established
as the causative agent. We embarked on a widespread
public education on mode the transmission and early
reporting to health facilities and the government should
collaborate with scientists to develop a vaccine against
Keywords : Meningitis; Outbreak; Streptococcus Pneumoniae ; Neisseria Meningitides X(NmX)