South Africa: Health officials confirm Meningitis in Western Cape
The Western Cape Health Department in South Africa has confirmed four new cases of viral meningitis in Mossel Bay on Friday, Eyewitness News reports.
The department’s communicable diseases unit says it has dispatched officials to the area to assess the cases of over 30 and no deaths since December 2015.
South Africa though, not within Africa’s meningitis belt has seen increase in sporadic cases and outbreaks of meningococcal disease tend to occur late winter and early spring with the cases especially occur in mines, correctional and detention facilities, academic institutions, and displaced communities.
The total number of cases notified in South Africa has decreased steadily from around 2000 cases in 1972 to less than 500 cases in 2005.
Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Meningitis may develop in response to a number of causes, usually bacteria or viruses, but meningitis can also be caused by physical injury, cancer or certain drugs.