Diphtheria death toll hits 34, Kano records 100 infections

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has said that the death toll from Diphtheria disease across the country is now 34 as Kano State has registered 100 cases. The NCDC, via its official website on Sunday, said that the deaths were between December 2022 and early January 2023 from Lagos, Kano, Yobe, […]

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has said that the death toll from Diphtheria disease across the country is now 34 as Kano State has registered 100 cases.

The NCDC, via its official website on Sunday, said that the deaths were between December 2022 and early January 2023 from Lagos, Kano, Yobe, and Osun with Kano State alone registering 25 deaths.

The agency blamed the increase in the infection and resurgence on the low vaccination coverage across the country.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease that was common decades ago.

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Due to the effectiveness of childhood vaccination programmes, most people have forgotten what diphtheria looks like.

“The fact that we are having a resurgence of diphtheria now suggests that there have been critical reductions in vaccination coverage among pockets of our population.

“This reduced level of population immunity has given rise to the cases that we are seeing.

“It is not a matter of diphtheria spreading from state to state, the bacteria that causes the disease is present everywhere in our environment.

“Any state where you find diphtheria now, you are likely to find that it will be associated with suboptimal vaccination coverage, either in general or in pockets of the population,” it said.

Meanwhile, the identified cases of diphtheria in Kano have risen from 25 to 100 in less than two weeks.

Three persons in 13 local government areas of the state have died.

The local government areas where the diseases are ravaging include Ungogo, Nassarawa, Bichi, Dala, Dawakin Kudu, Fagge, Gwale, Kano Municipal, Kumbotso, Rano, Dawakin Tofa and Gwarzo.

Of the 100 cases, the state health ministry said eight were confirmed, while awaiting more results.

Three among the eight have also been confirmed dead and 22 among other suspected cases.

Currently, 27 patients are on admission receiving treatment while 41 have been managed and discharged successfully. (NAN)

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