Rapid response to meningococcal disease cluster in foya district, lofa county, liberia january to February 2018

Julius Monday Rude, Lavele Kortimai, Fallah Mosoka, Ballerv, Mouhamoud Nuha, Victoria Katawera, Thomas Nagbe, Alpha Tamba, Williams Desmound, Richard Mulbah, Formenty Pierre, Emmanuel Musa Onuche, Joseph Okeibunor Chukwudi, Ambrose Talisuna, Ali Ahmed Yahaya, Soatiana Rajatonirina, Tolbert Nyenswah, Bernice Dahn, Alex Gasasira, Ibrahima Socé Fall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: early detection of disease outbreaks is paramount to averting associated morbidity and mortality. In January 2018, nine cases including four deaths associated with meningococcal disease were reported in three communities of Foya district, Lofa County, Liberia. Due to the porous borders between Lofa County and communities in neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea, the possibility of epidemic spread of meningococcal disease could not be underestimated. Methods: the county incidence management system (IMS) was activated that coordinated the response activities. Daily meetings were conducted to review response activities progress and challenges. The district rapid response team (DRRT) was the frontline responders. The case based investigation form; case line list and contacts list were used for data collection. A data base was established and analysed daily for action. Tablets Ciprofloxacin were given for chemoprophylaxis. Results: sixty-seven percent (67%) of the cases were males and also 67% of the affected age range was 3 to 14 years and attending primary school. The attack rate was 7/1,000 population and case fatality rate was 44.4 % with majority of the deaths occurring within 24-48 hours of symptoms onset. Three of the cases tested positive for Neisseria Meningitidis sero-type W while six cases were Epi-linked. None of the cases had recent meningococcal vaccination and no health-worker infections were registered. Conclusion: this cluster of cases of meningococcal disease during the meningitis season in a country that is not traditionally part of the meningitis belt emphasized the need for strengthening surveillance, preparedness and response capacity to meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalPan African Medical Journal
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Foya
  • Klemabendu
  • Lofa
  • Meningitis belt
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Rapid response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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