Diphtheria: NCDC Alerts Healthcare Workers, Lists Osun, Yobe Among State With Fresh Outbreak

Diphtheria: NCDC Alerts Healthcare Workers, Lists Osun, Yobe Among State With Fresh Outbreak
  • PublishedJanuary 20, 2023

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has advised healthcare practitioners to be watchful and keep an eye out for diphtheria symptoms by maintaining a high index of suspicion.

In a public advisory, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, Director-General of the NCDC, told the public that the Center has responded to reports of diphtheria cases in Lagos and Kano States.

He claims that the NCDC is keeping an eye on the situation in the states of Osun and Yobe, where cases are currently being discovered.

According to information provided by the Kano State Ministry of Health, the diphtheria outbreak has claimed the lives of 25 people so far, with 58 suspected cases and six patients who have been admitted.

The Director-General of NCDC stated that diphtheria is a dangerous bacterial infection produced by the bacterium named Corynebacterium species and that it affects the nose, throat, and occasionally the skin of an individual.

He listed fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes (conjunctivitis), and neck swelling as diphtheria symptoms.

“A thick grey or white patch appears on the tonsils and/or at the back of the throat associated with difficulty breathing, in severe cases, ” he said.

He emphasized that there have been cases with laboratory confirmation and that the NCDC is collaborating with partners and State ministries of health to improve surveillance and response to the outbreak.

He stated that those most at risk for contracting diphtheria are children and adults who have not received any or just one dose of the pentavalent vaccine (a vaccine that contains diphtheria toxoid), people who live in crowded environment, people who reside in unhygienic areas, healthcare workers, and others who are exposed to suspected or confirmed cases of diphtheria.

He continued by saying that droplets from coughing or sneezing, direct contact with sick persons, and coming into contact with contaminated objects and clothing are all means that diphtheria can quickly transmit from one person to another.

He advised parents to follow the recommended routine immunisation schedule and get their children fully immunized against diphtheria with three doses of the pentavalent vaccine.

People are encouraged to isolate themselves and report any indications or symptoms of diphtheria to their local government, the State Disease Surveillance Officer (DSNO), or the NCDC.

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