FCTA records one death and confirms Diphtheria outbreak in Abuja

Diphtheria Image: CDC

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has made an announcement regarding the occurrence of diphtheria infection in certain areas of Abuja.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species, which affects the nose, throat, and occasionally, the skin of an individual.

Common symptoms of diphtheria include fever, a runny nose, a sore throat, coughing, red eyes, swelling in the neck, and difficulty in breathing.

During a media conference on Monday, Sadiq Abdulrahman, the Director of Public Health Department at the FCT, revealed that the disease has tragically claimed the life of a four-year-old child.

Abdulrahman confirmed the outbreak in the nation's capital following a positive test result from samples collected from suspected cases in a village near the Dei-Dei area.

He urged residents to prioritize personal hygiene and advised them to promptly report any unusual symptoms, particularly those related to respiratory health, to the appropriate authorities.

He said, “Two weeks ago, we got information from a community within the FCT of eight cases and that made our team 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.”

The director also mentioned that the public health department is working in cooperation with neighboring states to prevent the disease from spreading further through border surveillance.

Another speaker, Yahaya Vatsa, the Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Health Care Board (PHCB), emphasized that individuals who have not been vaccinated and those residing in overcrowded and unhygienic environments are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.

To minimize the risk of contracting the disease, Vatsa advised residents of the FCT to ensure that their children receive the complete series of three doses of the pentavalent vaccine.

He said, “This is recommended in the national childhood immunisation schedule.” 

Additionally, the Executive Secretary stated that the FCTA, in collaboration with the PHCB, has made preparations to re-administer vaccinations to all children under the age of 14 in the affected communities. 

This measure aims to further protect the children and prevent the spread of the disease within those areas.

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