Fiji: Meningitis Outbreak - Mar 2018

Disaster description

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has declared an outbreak of meningococcal disease in Fiji. Over recent years, Fiji has seen an increase in cases. Prior to 2016, an average of one to 10 cases per year was reported. In 2016 there were 29 cases, and in 2017 there were 48 cases. In 2018, there have been 18 cases as of 21 February (Gov't of Fiji, 21 Mar 2018).

The Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) declared a national outbreak of meningococcal C on 20 March 2018 (Gov't of Fiji, 4 Jun 2018). As of 19 April 2018, there have been a total of 55 cases. Of these, 23 are laboratory confirmed, and 32 are either suspected or probable cases (WHO case definitions). There has been an average of 3.7 cases per week in the last four weeks, with four confirmed deaths. As of 12 April, all cases were below the age of 29, and 94.5 per cent were below age 19 (Gov't of Fiji, 19 Apr 2018).

As of 4 June, there has been a total 71 cases since the beginning of 2018. Of these, 27 are laboratory confirmed. There have been five deaths. Mass Men C vaccinations for all people between the ages of one to 19 years is ongoing in the Central division and Rakiraki subdivision. The remaining areas will receive vaccinations once vaccine supplies are available in the country. (WHO, 17 Jun 2018).

A total of 85 cases were reported for the period January 1st to June 25th 2018, including both confirmed and suspected cases. Of these, 27 are laboratory confirmed, 9 probable and 49 suspected cases (according to WHO case definitions). There were 5 confirmed deaths from January 2018 to date. All confirmed cases were below 23 years old. Ongoing public health intervention include a mass Meningitis C vaccination campaign targeting 1-19 year olds; clinical case management through use of the Fiji Public Health Management of Meningococcal Disease Guideline and risk communication campaign targeting the general public and specific focal groups (Pacific Community, 17 Jun 2018).

There is a major health concern with the affected population moving in to evacuation centers during the Tropical Cyclone Keni response period, increasing the risk of transmission of this disease which is transmitted from human to human through saliva. (IFRC, 2 Jul 2018).

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