NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- An outbreak of meningococcal meningitis in India's remote northeastern state of Tripura has left 18 people dead in less than a week, health officials said Monday.
The outbreak was detected on February 26, said S.K. Chakma, chief medical officer of Tripura's affected Dhalai district.
Forty-four patients have been diagnosed with the disease, he said.
Federal health officials arrived in Tripura on Monday to investigate the causes, Chakma added.