Incubation period days

Period of communicability Once effective treatment has started, the patient ceases to be infective within 24 h, but any carrier will continue to produce organisms for between 2 weeks and 10 months.

Occurrence and distribution Meningococcal meningitis occurs in epidemics, especially in the Sahel part of Africa in a band stretching from Senegal to Ethiopia. The epidemics are markedly seasonal occurring in the early part of the year when the temperature is hottest and relative humidity at its lowest. With the arrival of the rains, the epidemic abates (Fig. 13.4). The amount of rainfall (1100 mm) delineates the southern boundary of the meningitis belt, whereas

Month

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