Atmospheric dust, early cases, and localized meningitis epidemics in the African Meningitis Belt: An analysis using high spatial resolution data

Bacterial meningitis causes a high burden of disease in the African meningitis belt, with regular seasonal hyperendemicity and sporadic short, but intense, localized epidemics during the late dry season occurring at a small spatial scale [i.e., below the district level, in individual health centers (HCs)]. In addition, epidemic waves with larger geographic extent occur every 7–10 y. Although atmospheric dust load is thought to be an essential factor for hyperendemicity, its role for localized epidemics remains hypothetic.

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