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Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
Epidemics Channel

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Medical News : Epidemics

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Meningitis raises head, 21 dead in Delhi

Mar 11, 2006 - 8:34:00 PM , Reviewed by: Priya Saxena
"But, there is no need to panic. The disease is well within control and all necessary steps are being taken to curb it from taking the shape of an epidemic,"

[RxPG] The dreaded meningococcal meningitis has claimed 21 lives and 369 others are believed to have been affected by it in the Indian capital during the past three months, top health officials said Saturday.

"Yes, 21 people have died of symptoms similar to those of meningitis, of which 16 cases has been confirmed (to have died of the disease)," said K.N. Tiwari, municipal health officer of Delhi.

Since December 2005, Delhi has reported 369 patients suffering from symptoms of meningitis, of which 171 cases have been confirmed to be of the 'killer fever', he said.

"But, there is no need to panic. The disease is well within control and all necessary steps are being taken to curb it from taking the shape of an epidemic," Tiwari told IANS.

All leading hospitals in the capital have reported cases of meningitis.

In March alone, the All India Institute of Medical science reported 14 cases, Ram Manohar Lohia hospital 47 cases, Loknayak Jaiprakash hospital 10 and Safdarjung and Bara Hindu Rao hospitals have reported 21 cases each.

Tiwari said there was no shortage of medicines and the families of the affected patients were being advised to take precautionary measures like taking antibiotics to check spread of the disease.

Meningitis is an infection of the fluid in the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. A full cure is possible if the disease is detected in time.

Bacterial meningitis can be treated with several effective antibiotics, provided the treatment is started early in the course of the disease.

Meningococcal meningitis is caused by the "Neisseria meningitis bacteria serotype A" and spreads through droplet infection and close contact with patients.

The last major outbreak of meningitis in India was in 1985 when 6,000 cases and 800 deaths were reported across the country.

Officials said they were also working on creating public awareness about the disease.

"Awareness is the main weapon to avert the spread and we are putting up hoardings, pasting posters and distributing leaflets," said Deep Mathur, chief spokesperson of Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

Publication: Indo-Asian News Service

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