CONAKRY, Guinea—Health officials say a meningitis outbreak has killed at least 40 people in the West African nation of Guinea.

Conde Lansine, a doctor in the eastern city of Siguiri, said Tuesday it is feared that far more people are dying in remote villages and are not included in that toll.

Siguiri, near the country's border with Mali, has been the hardest-hit community, and Lansine said it was believed that hundreds may have died since January.

Eastern Guinea is hit annually with meningitis cases, though doctors say this year has been much deadlier.

Meningitis is an infection of the lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

Even when the disease is caught early and treatment is started, up to 10 percent of patients die within two days.


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