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61 killed in diphtheria outbreak in Kano, says NCDC

Diphtheria cells Diphtheria cells
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At least 61 persons are said to have died from the outbreak of diphtheria in Kano state.

Salma Suwaid, Kano diphtheria case manager, spoke on Monday at a webinar organised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with the theme ‘Diptheria outbreak in Nigeria: Vaccination Response’.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that affect the nose, throat, and sometimes, skin of an individual.

Some symptoms of diphtheria include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling, and difficulty in breathing.

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Suwaid said a total of 783 – 360 male and 423 female – patients have been admitted so far in Kano.

She added that the average hospital stay of the patients is four days.

“Eighty-three percent of deaths occurred in patients with the onset of symptoms greater than three days and an average of 15 admission days,” she said.

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“Sixty-eight percent of patients have been discharged, 1.66 percent absconded, and 12.2 percent died.”

Adejoke Oladele, the representative of the director, disease control and immunisation, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said the agency is working closely with the NCDC and partners to ensure a rapid increase in diphtheria vaccination coverage

“Apart from clinical and immunisation interventions, risk communication engagement activities are also carried out in affected communities. We are leveraging on structures implemented for COVID to ensure effective response,” she said.

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