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Meningitis: 20 students confirmed dead in Nigerian schools

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A suspected outbreak of meningitis has tragically claimed the lives of at least 20 students in schools situated in Potiskum, Fika, and Fune local government areas of Yobe State, DDM can authoritatively report.

The fatalities were reported from Government Science Technical College,  Government Girls Science Technical College, and Federal Government Girls College.

About 20 students succumbed to the outbreak, with most of the affected students admitted to the Specialist Hospital in Potiskum, where they are reportedly responding positively to treatment.

Confirming the outbreak, Dr. Muhammad Sani Idris, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, disclosed that the disease suspected to be meningitis resulted in the death of 20 students.

Governor Mai Mala Buni has directed the state Ministry of Education to temporarily relocate to Potiskum in response to the outbreak.

The commissioner further confirmed the admission of several students to Potiskum Specialist Hospital and detailed the proactive measures being taken to curb the spread.

Ambulances have been stationed in schools for emergency cases, and teachers are conducting regular health checks on unaffected students.

Dr. Idris expressed the gravity of the situation, stating that 17 students died in two secondary schools belonging to the Yobe state government, with an additional fatality reported from the Federal Government Girls College.

The affected areas have been identified, and the Ministry of Health has dispatched a medical team to investigate the cause of the outbreak and provide necessary medical interventions.

Dr. Idris underscored the commitment to students’ well-being, emphasizing the establishment of temporary isolation centres within schools to deliver first aid treatment.

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The Commissioner and relevant officials have temporarily relocated to Potiskum to oversee the situation until all students are in good health.

The Yobe state government is taking swift and comprehensive measures to combat the outbreak and ensure the safety and health of students across affected regions.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is an inflammation of the fluid and three membranes (meninges) surrounding your brain and spinal cord.

Causes
The most common causes of meningitis are viral and bacterial infections.

Other causes may include: cancer, fungi and drug-induced reactions.

Some viral and bacterial meningitis are contagious. They can be transmitted by coughing, sneezing, or close contact.

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of viral and bacterial meningitis can be similar in the beginning.

However, bacterial meningitis symptoms are usually more severe.

The symptoms also vary depending on your age.

Viral meningitis in infants may cause: decreased appetite, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, respiratory symptoms.

In adults, viral meningitis may cause: headaches, fever, stiff neck, seizures, sensitivity to bright light, sleepiness, lethargy, nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite, and altered mental state.

Bacterial meningitis symptoms develop suddenly. They may include: altered mental status, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, irritability, headache, fever, chills, stiff neck, purple areas of skin that resemble bruises, sleepiness and lethargy.


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