Deadly Diphtheria Outbreak Confirmed in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has officially confirmed an alarming outbreak of diphtheria in the country. Since December 2022, we have reported a total of 798 cases of the disease, resulting in one unfortunate death.

In a recent statement, the NCDC revealed that a staggering 654 of the confirmed cases were among individuals who had not received the diphtheria vaccine. The outbreak has spread across several states, with Kano bearing the brunt of the crisis, reporting a staggering 782 cases. Of particular concern is the fact that children between the ages of 2 and 14 constitute the majority of affected individuals, with a concerning case fatality rate of 10%.

The NCDC underlines the critical importance of vaccination as the primary measure for preventing diphtheria. There is an urgent need to enhance historical vaccination coverage since fewer than half of children under the age of 15 are fully protected against this devastating disease.

Swift and comprehensive action is imperative to contain the outbreak and safeguard the health and well-being of the population. The NCDC, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, is actively working to control the outbreak and protect vulnerable populations.

Soukaina Sghir

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