The Federal Capital Territory has reported a diphtheria outbreak in some areas of Abuja. At a press briefing held on Monday in Abuja, the FCT Director of the Public Health Department, Dr. Sadiq Abdulrahman, reported the epidemic.
In his remarks at the press conference, Abdulrahman noted that the illness had already claimed the life of a four-year-old. He also noted that the Nigeria Centre for Disease and Control had launched a nationwide response in response to prior outbreaks in the states of Lagos, Ondo, and Kano in January.
The bacteria Corynebacterium Diphtheriae, which generates toxins that can cause breathing problems, heart rhythm issues, and even death, is the source of the infection known as diphtheria.
The outbreak was confirmed, according to the director, after tests on samples from potential cases in a neighbourhood close to Dei-Dei came back positive.
“Two weeks ago, we got information from a community within the FCT of eight cases and that made our team to pick some samples.
“The samples were taken to the National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, and the NCDC, and one of the suspected cases came out positive,” he said.
He instructed the citizens to keep good personal hygiene and advised them to report any unexpected symptoms, especially respiratory difficulties, to the appropriate authorities.
Abdulrahman claimed that the Department was working with neighboring states to monitor the borders in order to stop the disease’s spread.
Additionally, Dr. Yahaya Vatsa, the Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Health Care Board, issued a warning that unvaccinated individuals who resided in crowded and unclean settings were particularly vulnerable to contracting the illness.
He asked locals to follow the National Childhood Immunization Schedule and make sure their children were completely immunized.
“To reduce the risk of contracting the disease, FCT residents are hereby advised to ensure that their children are fully vaccinated with three doses of the pentavalent vaccine. This is recommended in the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule,” he said.