Diphtheria: 4-Year-Old Dead, 4 Others Infected As FCTA Confirms Outbreak

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has confirmed the outbreak of diphtheria, a deadly disease, which has now claimed the life of a four-year-old boy out of five reported cases.

The Director of FCT Public Health Department, Sadiq Abdulrahman, who made the declaration, on Monday, in Abuja said information available to the department indicated that the disease was imported from neighbouring Niger State.

READ ALSO: Diphtheria Infection Kills 61 In Kano – NCDC

He disclosed that two weeks ago, the department was alerted to a possible outbreak of the disease in Dei-Dei, with eight suspected cases reported.

Abdulrahman added that the department immediately swung into action by activating its emergency response through which it collected samples for testing at the National Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa, as well as the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control NCDC, some of which came out positive.

He explained that the department was collaborating with neighbouring states to check further spread of the disease from contiguous states through border surveillance as he advised residents to take their personal hygiene seriously.

He said, “two weeks ago we got information from a community within the FCT of about 8 suspected cases which triggered our team to pick some samples which were taken to the National Reference Laboratory Gaduwa and the NCDC. As at Friday afternoon, the results came out. Out of the eight suspected cases, one came out positive.”

According to him, the disease had been established in about three states across the country, earlier this year.

He added that, “as we are all aware, precisely in January this year, a national alert was sent out on the outbreak of Diptheria in about three states, Lagos, Kano and Ondo respectively.

“That triggered a national response and the NCDC which is the flagship of disease outbreak and response in the country, sent out a letter to all the states the FCT.”

Also speaking, Executive Secretary, of Primary Health Care Board, Ishaq Vatsa, said diphtheria was caused by bacteria which signs include fever, running nose, and difficulty in breathing and can be transmitted through sneezing, droplets, coughing and contact with contaminated persons.

Vatsa advised residents to visit the over 400 vaccine outlets across the territory to get vaccinated against the disease.