Menu Close

Health Alert: Nigerian regulators confirm 80 deaths from Diphtheria outbreak

Diphtheria Infection

*The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control urges parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated against the disease with three doses of antitoxin-containing pentavalent vaccine, advising healthcare personnel to also maintain a ‘high index of suspicion’ for Diphtheria

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following an earlier announcement of the outbreak of Diphtheria in Abuja by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has also affirmed the disease outbreak in the Nigerian capital.

ConsumerConnect reports the FCTA had noted the first case and death of a four-year-old child June 2023.

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that affects an individual’s nose, throat and sometimes, skin.

It is a highly contagious infection that can cause breathing difficulties and heart problems that can be fatal, particularly in children.

The NCDC, in a statement issued Thursday, July 6 also said there had been multiple outbreaks across the country since December 2022, with 798 confirmed Diphtheria cases from 33 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in eight states, including the FCT.

The health regulatory agency further disclosed that 80 deaths had been recorded among all confirmed cases, with a case fatality rate of 10.0 percent in the West African country.

Prevalence of Diphtheria among children

The NCDC, in the statement as well revealed the Kano State accounted for most of the confirmed cases, aside from other states of the Nigerian Federation, including Lagos, Yobe, Katsina, Cross River, Kaduna and Osun.

The majority (71.7 percent) of the 798 confirmed cases occurred among children aged 2-14 years, said NCDC.

In spite of the fact that the disease is a vaccine-preventable one, the health regulator stated that 654 (82 percent) of 798 confirmed cases of the ongoing outbreaks were unvaccinated in Nigeria.

NCDC urges vaccination against disease

Meanwhile, the country’s Disease Control agency has advised parents and guardians to ensure their children and wards are fully vaccinated against the disease with three doses of antitoxin-containing pentavalent vaccine.

According to NCDC, this measure is given as part of childhood immunisation schedule in the country.

The agency also advised healthcare workers to maintain a high index of suspicion for Diphtheria.

Kindly Share This Story




Kindly share this story