Nigeria on Friday confirmed the outbreak of a new infection of the nose and throat, otherwise known as Diphtheria.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) in a public health advisory issued Friday morning, confirmed that not less than 25 people have reportedly died from the disease in Kano State, North-West Nigeria.
The disease control centre, however, 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 picked up”.
While the NCDC is yet to give data on the number of infections and deaths recorded in the country, the Kano State Commissioner for Health, Aminu Tsanyawa, had on Thursday confirmed that the outbreak of Diphtheria has killed no fewer than 25 persons in the state.
The commissioner told an online newspaper that the state rapid response team has been reactivated and indexed an action plan to check the spread of the deadly disease in the state.
However, NCDC said it’s now working with state health ministries and partners to enhance surveillance and response to the outbreak.
The NCDC explained that diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium called Corynebacterium species that affects the nose, throat and sometimes, the skin of an individual.
It noted that people most at risk of contracting diphtheria are children and adults who have not received any or a single dose of the pentavalent vaccine (a diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine), people who live in a crowded environment, in areas with poor sanitation and healthcare workers who are exposed to suspected or confirmed cases of diphtheria.