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Health News of Tuesday, 21 March 2023


Diphtheria: Nigeria records 102 new infections, 6 deaths

National Hospital Abuja National Hospital Abuja

Since the outbreak of Diphtheria in January 2023, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to record new infections and fatalities in the country.

NCDC in its latest situation report from weeks six to eight shows that a total of 377 suspected cases were reported from seven states across the country.

Of the 377 suspected cases reported, NCDC noted that 102 were confirmed, 113 (30 per cent) were discarded; 148 (39.3 per cent) are pending classification and 14 (3.7 per cent) were unknown.

The disease control centre added that six deaths with a case fatality ratio (CFR) of 5.8 per cent were recorded from the confirmed cases during the weeks under review.

Kano tops infection chartKano State, North-west Nigeria, has maintained the lead on the Diphtheria infection chart since the NCDC announced the outbreak in January.

The disease centre had confirmed in a public health advisory issued in the wake of the outbreak that not less than 25 people have reportedly died from the disease in Kano State.

The State Government subsequently confirmed the infection outbreak in 13 local government areas of the state, with 100 suspected cases and three deaths recorded as of 20 January.

In the latest situation report, Kano State recorded 96.8 per cent (355) of the 377 suspected cases reported from weeks 6 to 9 of 2023.

Cumulative from 2022According to NCDC, Nigeria has recorded a total of 389 confirmed Diphtheria infections and 62 deaths across 24 local government areas in six states from week 19 of 2022 to week 9 of 2023.

NCDC noted that only 60 (15.4 per cent) of 389 cases were fully vaccinated with a diphtheria toxin-containing vaccine.

It added that the majority of 78.4 per cent of the confirmed cases occurred among children aged two to 14 years.

NCDC also noted that a total of 1,064 suspected cases were reported from 21 states. Six states: Kano (843), Yobe (86), Katsina (46), Lagos (22), Sokoto (14) and Zamfara (13) accounted for 96.2 per cent of these suspected cases.

Of the 1,064 suspected cases reported, 389 (36.6 per cent) were confirmed, 322 (30.3 per cent) were discarded, 201 (18.9 per cent) are pending classification, and 152 (14.3 per cent) are unknown, the disease centre noted.