Meningitis in Ghana and the United States

Mar 18, 2011 | healthmap | Outbreak News

Fifteen people have died from meningitis in Ghana’s Upper West Region with over 100 cases reported. Ghana is located in the Meningitis Belt of sub-Saharan Africa where the highest rates of bacterial meningitis are seen. Although vaccines exist for meningococcal meningitis, many in the Meningitis Belt are unvaccinated.

In the United States, young adults are considered to be at the greatest risk.  This week, a college student at Ohio State University and a high school student in Elizabethton, Tennessee died.  Meningococcal meningitis has been confirmed in the former and is suspected in the latter.  Also, an Oregon high school student is in critical condition with confirmed meningococcal meningitis.  A second possible case has also been identified.  According to the CDC, the US has between 1,000 and 1,200 cases each year.  The CDC has more information on the vaccine here.

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