ABUJA, Nigeria––On Wednesday, Nigerian health authorities said that 14 people have died following an outbreak of cerebrospinal meningitis in the northwestern state of Jigawa.

Jigawa Abba Zakari, the commissioner for health, in told newsgroups that the deaths were recorded from 51 suspected cases of meningitis across 10 local government areas of the state.

The state of Jigawa recorded its first case of meningitis, an acute inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, in last November, Zakari said.

He said local authorities were working to contain the further spread of the disease as there could be a more severe outbreak and higher mortality rate due to the intensely hot weather.

Cerebrospinal meningitis outbreaks usually occur in the dry season due to low humidity and dusty conditions and end with the onset of the rainy season.

Jigawa is within the meningitis belt of the African region.

Sources say last year, 17 states were affected by the meningitis outbreak across Nigeria.