The Safari Experts

Meningitis in Africa


... is a serious disease which affects the membranes covering the spinal chord and brain. Its rapid progression and potential seriousness has led it to be classified as a medical emergency.

The viral version, meningococcal meningitis, is present in most countries of the world, but more so in the countries which lie immediately below the Sahara.

Symptoms include bad headaches, stiffening of the neck, possible sensitivity to light or sound and a rash which does not go away when depressed, which can be tested using the base of a glass tumbler. Seizures are also possible.

Be aware of the symptoms and act promptly if you suspect meningitis, especially in children. Early treatment is essential, usually by means of wide-spectrum antibiotics.

The meningitis vaccination was previously only recommended for longer trips, but is increasingly being used for all travellers. Ideally it should be the version containing strains A C W and Y.

Read more about meningitis in Wikipedia.
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