One person has been confirmed dead following a case of Cerebral Spinal Meningitis outbreak in Cross River State, while 23 others are currently receiving treatment at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
Dr. Inyang Asibong, the State Commissioner for Health, who visited the hospital on Wednesday, said the disease had been on the increase in the state.
Asibong said the deceased, Paul Ogar, 12, was brought from Ogoja Local Government Area of the state with the disease which eventually led to his death.
According to her, the ministry was doing its best to curb the outbreak, adding that Cross River was among the 16 states with the outbreak of CSM in Nigeria.
Asibong said: “Before now, we have actually been having sporadic cases of CSM, but it has been on the increase this year and this is not normal for Cross River.
“We have set our state team in motion and the epidemiologists department is currently on top of the situation carrying out surveillance in all quarters.
“Another notable thing is that these cases were mainly recorded in Ogoja and Yala Local Government areas of the stated.
“We are working with the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that we curb this outbreak and hoping that we get the vaccination for the symptoms.”
Asibong advised residents to increase their personal hygiene, especially washing of hands, avoiding overcrowded places and direct contact with people coughing or sneezing.
She said: “People living in overcrowded conditions, poorly ventilated houses and generally poor sanitary conditions are very vulnerable to respiratory infections and this encourages the growth and survival of the bacteria.
“Incubation periods for CSM vary from 2 to 10 days with symptoms such as but not limited to stiff neck, high fever, headache, vomiting, and confusion.
“Early treatment can help prevent serious long-term consequences such as deafness, blindness, epileptic seizures and brain damage.”
She also urged residents to allow adequate ventilation into their houses, adding that anyone who noticed any of the symptoms should seek immediate medication from the hospital.