38 deaths have occurred out of 123 diphtheria cases recorded in Nigeria, says NCDC
According to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), 38 of the 123 diphtheria cases that have been reported in Nigeria thus far have resulted in deaths.
Kano, Lagos, Yobe, and Osun are the states currently affected by the disease, which is caused by a serious infection of the nose and throat that can be easily prevented with a vaccine.
At a ministerial press briefing hosted by the Federal Ministry of Health, the nation’s disease control and prevention agency made the announcement, stating that additional cases of the disease were anticipated in the coming days as it spread to other locations.
The NCDC stated, via its Director of Special Duties, Dr. Prescilia Ibekwe: NCDC has confirmed 123 cases and 38 deaths as of January 22. 100 cases and 32 deaths are from Kano. There are five cases and three deaths in Lagos. According to Ibekwe, in addition to clinically suspected cases, there have been laboratory-confirmed cases. In Yobe, there have been 17 confirmed cases and three deaths, and in Osun, there has only been one case without a death.
According to Dr. Ibekwe, the agency was collaborating with state health ministries and partners to enhance outbreak surveillance and response.
She stated, “We expect more cases from more states given the sub-optimal coverage for the third dose of the diphtheria containing pentavalent vaccine in the country (54 percent – 2021 MICS & NICS).”
“The middle has teamed up with the UK Wellbeing Security Organization (UKHSA) to coordinate a 5-day studio on improving research facility conclusion of diphtheria in Nigeria for lab researchers working in NCDC’s Public Reference Labs and its lab organization (this was arranged before cases were accounted for as a component of readiness), and;
“Written to all states HCHs to implement immediate and necessary public health measures for prompt state-level diphtheria detection and response.”
Dr. Ibekwe spoke about the measures being taken to stop the disease from spreading further. He said that the NCDC has published a public health advisory that can be found on its website and educates Nigerians about risk factors and gives them advice like;
“Parents ensuring that their children are fully vaccinated against diphtheria with three doses of the pentavalent vaccine,” she stated. Healthcare workers ought to have a high suspicion level for diphtheria.
She also talked about ways to better understand and control the SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 variant outbreaks that are currently occurring worldwide.
She stated, “The sub-lineages, i.e., XBB.1.5, partially responsible for the current increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States and elsewhere have not yet been detected in the country.”
“However, this variant has not been associated with increased illness severity and appears to be leveling off.”
“The variants that have been reported so far in China have been those that have been in use worldwide, including for some time in Nigeria,”