The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced that there are 789 cases of diphtheria in Nigeria as of June 30, 2023.
The NCDC said the cases were recorded in 33 LGAs across eight states; Kano, Lagos, Yobe, Katsina, Cross River, Kaduna, Osun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Most of the cases were recorded in Kano, and it was also gathered that 71.7 percent of the confirmed cases occurred among children aged two to 14 years.
A total of 80 deaths were recorded among all confirmed cases. 82 percent of 798 confirmed diphtheria cases were unvaccinated.
The NCDC disclosed that this is the first time in over two decades, the country procured diphtheria antitoxin (DAT) in-country and distributed it to the affected states, adding that it has established a multi-sectoral national diphtheria technical working group as a mechanism for coordinating surveillance and response activities across the country.
The statement added, “Individuals with signs and symptoms suggestive of diphtheria should isolate themselves and notify their LGA, State disease surveillance officer (DSNO), their State Ministry of Health helpline, or the NCDC through our toll-free line on 6232.
“Individuals who have come in close contact with a confirmed case of diphtheria should be closely monitored, given antibiotics prophylaxis, and started on diphtheria treatment when indicated.”
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection 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.