Dozens dead in Nigeria diphtheria outbreak


Diphtheria disease

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AT least 48 people have died from an outbreak of diphtheria in the terror-prone northeastern Nigeria.

The deaths are from 476 suspect cases since the first cases were reported on November 22.

The state of Yobe has been experiencing a new resurgence of cases.

A majority (64 percent) of these are children under the age of ten, according to the Ministry of Health.

Following the surge in Yobe, the government is ramping up efforts to strengthen contact tracing teams, increase manpower to undertake effective case management especially in Dapchi and Potiskum, the state capital, as well as reduce the turnaround time for laboratory examination and result feedback.

A major obstacle to control the epidemic is getting access to the hard-to-reach areas such as Bursari and Fune, where a significant number of the suspected cases with life-threatening complications are emerging.

Insecurity is rife in Yobe, one of three states – alongside Adamawa and Borno- enduring insurgency by Islamist groups.

Affecting mainly children, diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that usually impacts on the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.

Other ongoing outbreaks in Nigeria include cholera, the Lassa fever and measles.

– CAJ News


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