Throat disease  kills 61 in Kano, 783  Others Hospitalized 

.No fewer than 61 persons were said to have died from the outbreak of diphtheria in Kano State.

Salma Suwaid, Kano Diphtheria Case Manager, spoke, yesterday, at a webinar organised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, with the theme “Diptheria outbreak in Nigeria: Vaccination Response.”

Suwaid said a total of 783 – 360 male and 423 female – patients have been admitted to various hospitals so far in Kano, adding that the average hospital stay of the patients was four days.

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.

She said: “Eighty-three per cent of deaths occurred in patients with the onset of symptoms greater than three days and an average of 15 admission days.“Sixty-eight per cent of patients have been discharged, 1.66 per cent absconded, and 12.2 per cent died.”

Adejoke Oladele, the representative of the Director, Disease Control and Immunisation, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, said the agency was working closely with the NCDC and partners to ensure a rapid increase in diphtheria vaccination coverage

“Apart from clinical and immunisation interventions, risk communication engagement activities are also carried out in affected communities. We are leveraging on structures implemented for COVID to ensure effective response,” she said.

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