Diphtheria outbreak: NCDC records 216 diphtheria cases, 40 deaths

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has recorded 216 cases of diphtheria and 40 deaths in the country.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that affect the nose, throat, and sometimes, skin of an individual.

Some symptoms of diphtheria include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling, and difficulty in breathing.

The NCDC in its latest diphtheria situation report said 189 new suspected cases were reported from three states – Kano: 172, Katsina: 9, and Lagos: 8.

Out of the 189 suspected cases reported, the agency said 56 were confirmed, 51 were discarded, 72 were pending classification and 10 were unknown.

It said the confirmed cases were all from nine LGAs in Kano state.

“Cumulatively, a total of 523 suspected cases were reported – Kano: 396, Yobe: 78, Katsina: 34, Lagos: 14 and Osun: 1 states have been recorded,” the report reads.

“Of the 523 suspected cases reported, 216 (41.3%) were confirmed, 80 (15.3%) were discarded, 106 (20.3%) are pending classification while 121 (23.2%) were unknown.

“Majority (184 [85.2%]) of the confirmed cases occurred among cases aged 2 – 14 years.

“A total of 40 deaths were recorded among all confirmed cases.

“Only 27 out of 216 confirmed cases were fully vaccinated with a diphtheria toxin-containing vaccine.”

Meanwhile, speaking during a webinar on Diphtheria Outbreak in Nigeria on Monday, Bola Lawal, lead of the diphtheria technical working group at the NCDC, said poor vaccination against diphtheria has been the major driver of the outbreaks.

He said response efforts by the NCDC against the current outbreak include “development and dissemination of surveillance tools across the country, sensitisation/training of clinical and surveillance officers on the presentation, prevention, and surveillance for diphtheria and harmonisation of surveillance and laboratory data from across states and labs”.






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