Nigeria confirmed on Friday the outbreak of a new nose and throat infection, also known as Diphtheria.
He Nigerian Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) in a public health advisory issued on Friday morning, it confirmed that no fewer than 25 people have died from the disease in Kano state, northwestern Nigeria.
However, the center for disease control noted that it has responded to “reports of diphtheria cases in Lagos and Kano states and is monitoring the situation in Osun and Yobe states, where cases are now being detected.”
While the NCDC has yet to provide data on the number of infections and deaths recorded in the country, Kano State Health Commissioner Aminu Tsanyawa confirmed on Thursday that the diphtheria outbreak has killed no fewer than 25 people in the state.
The commissioner told an online newspaper that the state’s rapid response team has been reactivated and indexed an action plan to control the spread of the deadly disease in the state.
However, NCDC said it is now working with state health ministries and partners to improve surveillance and response to the outbreak.
The NCDC explained that diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection caused by bacteria called Corynebacterium species that affects an individual’s nose, throat, and sometimes skin.
He noted that people most at risk of getting diphtheria are children and adults who have not received any doses or a single dose of the pentavalent vaccine (a vaccine that contains diphtheria toxoid), people who live in a crowded environment, in areas with unsanitary conditions and health workers who are exposed to suspected or confirmed cases of diphtheria.
On transmission, the NCDC added that the disease spreads easily from person to person through direct contact with infected people, droplets from coughing or sneezing, and contact with contaminated clothing and objects.
Symptoms of diphtheria include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes (conjunctivitis), and neck swelling. In severe cases, the NCDC said a thick gray or white patch appears on the tonsils and/or the back of the throat associated with difficulty breathing.
As for disease prevention, the NCDC urged parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated against diphtheria with three doses of the pentavalent vaccine as recommended in the childhood immunization schedule.
He added that health care workers should be vigilant and look for symptoms of diphtheria, and people with signs and symptoms suggestive of diphtheria should self-isolate and notify the local government area, state disease surveillance officer, or NCDC through their free line (6232). ).
It also advised that “close contacts with a confirmed case of diphtheria should be closely monitored, given antibiotic prophylaxis and started on diphtheria antitoxin treatment when indicated, while all healthcare workers with higher exposure to cases should get vaccinated against diphtheria.
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