Diphtheria: NCDC issues advisory to health workers as Kano death toll reaches 25

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned health workers and the general public on the threat by diphtheria.

The NCDC had confirmed 25 persons dead from diphtheria in Kano State.

In a new advisory issued on Friday, the centre advised Nigerians to ensure their children are fully vaccinated with three doses of the pentavalent vaccine as contained in the childhood immunisation schedule.

It urged individuals with symptoms to isolate themselves and notify concerned authorities.

The NCDC also charged healthcare workers to be vigilant and be on the lookout for symptoms.

Diphtheria, according to Wikipedia, is a serious infection of the nose and throat that’s easily preventable by a vaccine.

In an infected person, a sheet of thick and grey matter covers the back of the throat, making breathing hard.

Symptoms include sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and weakness.

READ ALSO: Many killed as diphtheria hits Kano

The advisory read: “Healthcare workers should maintain a high index of suspicion for diphtheria i.e., be vigilant and look out for symptoms of diphtheria.

“Individuals with signs and symptoms suggestive of diphtheria should isolate themselves and notify the local government area, state disease surveillance officer (DSNO), or the NCDC through our toll-free line (6232).

“Close contacts with a confirmed case of diphtheria should be closely monitored given antibiotics prophylaxis and started on diphtheria antitoxin treatment when indicated.

“All healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, support staff, etc.) with higher exposure to cases of diphtheria should be vaccinated against diphtheria.”

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