Climate and Meningitis in Africa

The products in this maproom aim to illustrate models of climate suitability for seasonal epidemic meningitis.

Meningitis effects up to 200,000 people a year the African 'Meningitis Belt'. This region, stretching latitudinal across the Sahel region from Senegal to Ethiopia, faces recurring epidemics during the dry season of February to May. In addition, rainfall during subsequent months seems to alleviate the epidemic, reinforcing the suspected link between meningitis and environmental factors.

Different variables combine to cause epidemics of disease. Among these factors are the characteristics of the infecting organism, the resistance of the host and climatic conditions.

Studies have suggested that dry weather, low humidity and the presence of dust play an important role in the temporal and spatial occurrence of the disease.

Epidemic Meningitis
This map shows the presence of aerosols in dekadal (10-day) averages.
This map shows the presence of absorbing aerosols in dekadal (10-day) averages.
This Reanalysis product displays different meteorological variables over Africa. Each plays an important role as a predictive indicator for forecasting potential meningitis outbreaks.
This map shows global daily precipitation estimates.
This map shows the distribution of observed meningitis epidemics during 1841-1999.
This map shows meningitis risk in Africa derived from probabilistic model based on environmental factors.
This map shows the presence of dust over northern Africa in dekadal (10-day) averages.