The Nigerian Centre For Disease Control and Prevention has put Nigerians on alert over the possible outbreak of Diphtheria. There were cases reported in Lagos and Kano States. Continuous monitoring of the situation by NCDC in Osun and Yobe States is sustained and new cases are now being picked up.
This was disclosed in a public health advisory signed by NCDC Director-General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, issued on Friday amidst the disease outbreak in the Country.
Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium called Corynebacterium species that affects the nose, throat, and sometimes, skin of an individual.
The advisory read in part, “People most at risk of contracting diphtheria: 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, people who live in areas with poor sanitation and healthcare workers and others who are exposed to suspected/confirmed cases of diphtheria."
Consequently, “Diphtheria spreads easily between people through direct contact with infected people, droplets from coughing or sneezing, and contact with contaminated clothing and objects.
Moreover, “The onset of signs and symptoms usually starts after two to 10 days of exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms of diphtheria include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes (conjunctivitis), and neck swelling," the advisory said.
The NCDC also cautioned health workers to isolate any patient that starts showing signs of the disease, and notifies the Local Government Area, State disease surveillance officer, or NCDC with immediate effect.