At least 23 cases of bacterial meningitis (including one death) had been reported in Cesar province as of Friday, November 10. Reports say the outbreak is centered on a military base in La Jagua de Ibirico. Officials have taken measures to prevent the further spread of the disease, including giving preventive treatment to over 400 people who have had contact with the patients.
Symptoms of bacterial meningitis, a contagious disease, include fever, headache, a stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light. Bacterial meningitis may be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal. A vaccine is available, however it does not protect against all strains of the bacteria.
All those present in Cesar province are advised to take the necessary measures to protect themselves from the disease (wash hands, disinfect surfaces frequently, consult with a medical professional concerning vaccination options) and avoid all contact with infected individuals. Individuals developing symptoms of the disease should seek immediate medical attention.