Nigeria death toll from diphtheria outbreak rises to about 40

File – Microscope image of ‘Corynebacterium diphtheriae’, one of the bacteria causing diphtheria. – CDC ESTADOUNIDENSE

Nigerian authorities on Tuesday raised the death toll from the diphtheria outbreak, which is affecting especially the state of Kano (north) and has so far left more than 120 cases, to about 40.

Prescilia Ibekwe, director of Special Affairs of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has indicated that so far 123 infections have been detected, including 38 deaths, according to the Nigerian newspaper ‘Vanguard’.

A total of 100 cases have been confirmed in Kano, where 32 people have died. «In Lagos there are five cases, with three deaths; in Yobe there are 17 cases, with three deaths; and in Osun there is one case, with no deaths», he specified.

The NCDC last week issued an alert for the diphtheria outbreak and issued a series of recommendations, including a request to families to «ensure that their children are fully vaccinated against diphtheria with three doses of pentavalent vaccine.»

Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium corynebacterium diphtheriae, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) through its web page, where it details that «sometimes the toxin passes into the bloodstream and causes complications such as inflammation and injury of the myocardium, inflammation of the nerves, kidney problems or bleeding disorders due to a drop in the level of platelets».