Meningitis has killed 269 people in Nigeria in recent weeks, the country’s Center for Disease Control said, as Africa’s most populous country and aid organizations try to tackle the surge in infections.
As of Monday, 1,828 suspected cases of meningitis had been reported, with deaths recorded in 15 of the country’s 36 states, the center said late Tuesday on Twitter.
The center said on its website that 33 people died of meningitis in 2016.
More than 2,000 people died from an outbreak of the disease in Nigeria in 2009, with basic health care limited in rural parts of the country. Most rural residents live on less than $2 a day, despite the country’s huge oil resources.
Meningitis is the inflammation of tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord, which can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. It spreads mainly through kisses, sneezes and coughs, and in close living quarters.
The center said it was working with the World Health Organization, the U.N. children’s fund and Doctors Without Borders to try to control the outbreak.