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Children worst hit as NCDC confirms 389 diphtheria cases in six states

Children worst hit as NCDC confirms 389 diphtheria cases in six states
March 17
11:48 2023

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 389 cases of diphtheria have been confirmed in six states.

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.

The NCDC, in its latest diphtheria situation report, said as of March 2023, a total of 1,064 suspected cases were reported from 21 states.


The agency said Kano (843), Yobe (86), Katsina (46), Lagos (22), Sokoto (14) and Zamfara (13) accounted for 96.2 percent of suspected cases.

“Of the 1,064 suspected cases reported, 389 (36.6%) were confirmed (45 were lab confirmed, 343 clinically compatible and 1 was epidemiologically linked), 322 (30.3%) were discarded, 201 (18.9%) are pending classification & 152 (14.3%) are unknown,” the report reads.

“The confirmed cases were distributed across 24 LGAs in six (6) States.


“Majority (305 [78.4%]) of the confirmed cases occurred among children aged 2 – 14 years.

“A total of 62 deaths were recorded among all confirmed cases (case fatality ratio (CFR): 15.9%).“

The NCDC said only 60 of the 389 confirmed cases were fully vaccinated with a diphtheria toxin-containing vaccine.

The Nigeria childhood immunisation schedule recommends three doses of pentavalent diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine) for children in the sixth, 10th and 14th week of life.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said diphtheria antitoxin can be used to stop the bacteria from harming the body.

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