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Bull World Health Organ. 1983;61(2):325-30.

Epidemic group C meningococcal meningitis in Upper Volta, 1979.


Group C meningococci were isolated during an epidemic of meningococcal meningitis which occurred between January and May 1979 in eastern Upper Volta, an area previously associated with endemic and epidemic group A disease. A total of 539 cases of meningitis, 55 of which were fatal, were reported, giving an attack rate of 517 cases per 100 000 inhabitants. Attack rates were higher for children under 15 years of age. Clinical and bacteriological data suggested that the group C meningococci were sulfonamide-resistant. The last meningococcal epidemic in Upper Volta occurred in 1970 and was nationwide. Epidemic cycles of group A meningococcal meningitis have occurred at 10-15 year intervals in the sub-Saharan region, raising concern that the current increase in activity may presage more wide-spread disease in the next dry season.

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