The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed an outbreak of Meningitis in Kanyogoga Sub county, Nakaseke district. In a press statement by the ministry, laboratory reports have confirmed 16 cases of meningitis. No deaths were recorded.
Acute bacterial meningitis is a rapidly progressive bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord. People with meningitis present with symptoms such as fever, headache, back pain and changes-in mental status.
Uganda is within the African Meningitis belt and has had several outbreaks in a number of districts of West Nile, northern and north east regions. According to the ministry, anyone is at risk of contracting the disease but children and young adults are at a greater risk.
The risk factors of meningitis include the hot and dry season which is conducive for rapid transmission and overcrowding. The current water shortage, according to the ministry of health, has led pastoralists to converge in big numbers at River Lugogo that flows through Nakasongola and Nakaseke districts.
The ministry advises people to avoid contact with meningitis patients and to seek immediate medical attention when such symptoms present. The ministry is also considering vaccination of all people in Nakaseke district and the neighboring areas to prevent further infection.