Nigeria reports 557 diphtheria cases, 73 deaths

Nigeria has confirmed 557 cases of diphtheria across its states and 73 deaths since the beginning of 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported Wednesday.

The death toll has also risen to 73 with a case-fatality ratio of 13%.

“From May 14, 2022, to April 9, 2023, 1,439 suspected diphtheria cases were reported from 21 states in Nigeria, with the majority (83 per cent) of cases reported from Kano (1,188), Yobe (97), Katsina (61), Lagos (25), Sokoto (14) and Zamfara (13). Of the 1,439 suspected cases, 557 (39%) were confirmed (51 laboratory-confirmed, 504 clinically compatible, and two epidemiologically linked), 483 (34%) were discarded, and 399 (28%) are pending classification.

Recently, Priscilla Ibekkwe, official of the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, assured that, in order to contain a diphtheria spread, labs are increasing their capacity for early diagnosis.

The states, on the other hand, where cases have been reported are being presently supplied with anti-toxins and other types of medication, Ibekkwe said.

Diphtheria is a highly contagious vaccine-preventable disease that spreads between people mainly by direct contact or through the air via respiratory droplets. The disease can affect all age groups, however, unimmunized children are particularly at risk. It is potentially fatal.

Source: Lao News Agency

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