Kano, Nigeria – At least sixty-one (61) people have died of diphtheria disease in the most populous northern city of Nigeria, Kano.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Kano State diphtheria case manager, Salma Suwaid during an event in the state capital.
Suwaid, who spoke at a webinar organised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with the theme ‘Diphtheria outbreak in Nigeria: Vaccination Response’, said a total of 783 (360 male and 423 female) patients have been admitted so far in the state.
She further said diphtheria patients stay up to four days on the average in the hospital, adding that 83 percent of deaths occurred in patients with the onset of symptoms greater than three days and an average of 15 admission days.
“68 percent of patients have been discharged, 1.66 percent absconded, and 12.2 percent died,” she explained.
In attendance was also the representative of the director, Disease Control and Immunisation, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Adejoke Oladele, who said the agency was working closely with the NCDC and partners to ensure a rapid increase in diphtheria vaccination coverage.
“We are leveraging on structures implemented for COVID to ensure effective response,” she added.
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.