The Travel Health and Vaccine Specialists

Health Alert


Meningococcal Disease in Nigeria

Updated May 19, 2015

What is the current situation?

As of March 29, 2015, a total of 1,346 cases of meningitis, including 50 deaths, have been reported from the Nigerian states of Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara. Meningococcal disease refers to an infection with the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis; most infections cause meningitis, but it can also infect the blood. A vaccine campaign is taking place in this region of Nigeria in response to the outbreak. The outbreak is also occurring in Niger.(

CDC recommends that travelers to Nigeria( get vaccinated with quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine, which protects against N. meningitidis serogroups A, C, W, and Y. Travelers who continue to be at risk should receive a booster dose every 5 years.

What can travelers do to prevent meningococcal disease?

Get a meningococcal vaccine:

Reduce your exposure to germs:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.

If you feel sick and think you may have meningococcal disease:

Traveler Information

Clinician Information