Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Travel Medicine Update - WHO / Meningococcal Disease: situation in the African Meningitis Belt

World Health Organization: Global Alert and Response (GAR): March 2012
From 1 January to 11 March (epidemiologic week 10), outbreaks of meningococcal disease has been reported in 15 districts in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.
These outbreaks have been detected as part of the enhanced surveillance in the African Meningitis Belt conducted in 14 countries where a total of 6 685 suspected meningitis cases including 639 deaths have been reported.
WHO continues to monitor the epidemiological situation closely, in collaboration with partners and Ministry of Health in the affected countries.
Travelers are reminded of the importance of keeping their vaccination status up to date and to follow WHO travel advice.

WHO emphasizes that individuals planning to travel to countries in the African Meningitis Belt obtain vaccine to protect against the four serogroups responsible for the epidemic disease (tetravalent vaccine ACYW135).

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