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Pneumococcal meningitis kills 8 in Tain District

BY: Daily Graphic
Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyiera - Director General, Ghana Health Service

Eight people are reported to have died in the Brong Ahafo Region in two weeks, following an outbreak of pneumococcal meningitis in the area.

According to the District Health Director for Tain, Dr Michael Rockson Adjei, who spoke on an Accra-based radio station, 30 other people had so far been hospitalised after being infected with the deadly disease.

The victims are said to be responding to treatment.

The infection

Pneumococcal meningitis is an infection that causes swelling and irritation (inflammation) of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges).
"The symptoms are just like Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) but let me put on record that it is not CSM,” Dr Adjei said.

CSM is most often caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides. Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the meninges, the thin covering of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of the disease include stiff neck, high fever, rash, headache, vomiting, and confusion.

According to the Tain District Health Director, there are certain factors that may give rise for the bacteria to spread from one person to another, usually it causes ear infection, throat infection, and pneumonia," he added.

Dr Adjei added that the outbreak started around December 24, 2015 and called on infected persons to report quickly for treatment.

"All things being equal, by close of next two weeks, we should be able to overcome the epidemic," he said.