Forecasters Take Aim at Meningitis Outbreaks

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Boulder, Colo. (AP) Boulder weather researchers are joining international experts to issue long-term forecasts for Africa that will help anticipate the dry, dusty conditions that trigger meningitis outbreaks.

The university corporation for atmospheric research says the forecasts will help health-care providers focus their limited supply of vaccinations in regions most at risk while pulling back from areas expected to get rain. Researchers say meningitis epidemics typically end when the summer rainy season starts.

In 1996 and 1997, more than 250,000 people in Africa contracted meningitis, and 25,000 died. Researchers say it was the largest outbreak of the disease ever recorded.

Google's philanthropic arm, google.org, will fund the project with $900,000.

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