NCDC Confirms 40 Deaths, 216 Cases Of Diphtheria In Nigeria

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has confirmed 216 diphtheria cases from Kano, Yobe, Lagos, and Osun states.

The cases were confirmed in Kano, Yobe, Lagos, and Osun states. It was also gathered that the death toll has hit 40 in the country.

The NCDC also said the suspected cases in the country are now 523 from five states; Kano, Yobe, Katsina, Lagos, and Osun states. Lead of the Diphtheria/Pertussis Technical Working Group in the NCDC, Dr Bola Lawal who confirmed the development, said the health agency was notified of suspected diphtheria outbreaks from Kano state and Lagos state and the rapid response team was deployed to the states on December 12, 2022, after the disease was confirmed.

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Giving a breakdown of the epidemiological situation, Lawal said, “Kano state has recorded 396 suspected cases with 211 confirmed cases, Yobe state has recorded 78 suspected cases with two confirmed cases; Katsina has 34 suspected cases but no confirmed case yet; Lagos state has recorded 14 suspected cases and two confirmed cases; Osun state has one confirmed case so far.

“We have also recorded 40 deaths with a case fatality rate of 18.5 per cent. Of the 216 confirmed cases, 184 (85.2 per cent) were aged two to 14 years from both sexes.”

38 deaths were recorded in Kano, while two were recorded in Lagos state. On the vaccination status, Lawal said out of the 216 confirmed cases, 27 were fully vaccinated, 84 were unvaccinated and 20 were partly vaccinated.

He added, “For effective control of diphtheria, there must be a high index of suspicion among health care workers, strong laboratory capacity, timely access to diphtheria antitoxin and vaccination against diphtheria.”

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium called Corynebacterium species that affects the nose, throat, and sometimes, skin of an individual. Diphtheria spreads easily between people through direct contact with infected people droplets from coughing or sneezing, and contact with contaminated clothing and objects.