Meningitis can be transmitted through kissing, says NCDC

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has said that meningitis can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing and kissing.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, a thin layer of the connective tissue that covers the brain and the spinal cord.

It was reported that Nigeria has recorded 961 suspected cases and 56 deaths of meningitis in 32 states including the Federal Capital Territory across 159 Local Government Areas so far in 2022.

The World Meningitis Day is celebrated every October 5 to raise awareness of the disease.

The NCDC said meningitis is an epidemic-prone disease with cases reported all year round in Nigeria. The highest burden occurs in the “Meningitis Belt” of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. In Nigeria, the belt includes all 19 northern states, the Federal Capital Territory, and some southern states.

The NCDC, on its Facebook page said, “Meningitis is mostly spread from person to person through respiratory droplets e.g. coughing, sneezing & close contact such as kissing.

“Meningitis can affect anyone at any age. Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms.

“Let’s take action to #DefeatMeningitis.”

According to the centre, the most common signs and symptoms of meningitis are fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, photophobia (pain on looking at bright lights), neck stiffness, and altered consciousness levels.

“In younger children, it may be more difficult to observe these signs, and irritability, poor feeding, and inactivity are common.

“Meningitis can also cause meningococcal septicemia, presenting with fatigue, severe myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting, cold extremities, rapid breathing, low blood pressure, and a purpuric (dark purple non-blanching) rash,” it added.

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