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Tragic Loss: 4-Year-Old Fatally Affected, 4 Others Infected as Diphtheria Enters Nigeria from Niger

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has confirmed the outbreak of diphtheria, a deadly disease, which has now claimed the life of a four-year old boy out of five reported cases.

Director, FCT Public Health department, Sadiq Abdulrahman, who made the declaration Monday in Abuja, said information available to the department indicated that the disease was imported from neighbouring Niger State.

He disclosed that two weeks ago, the department was alerted of a possible outbreak of the disease in Dei-Dei, with eight suspected cases reported.

Abdulrahman added that the department immediately swung into action by activating its emergency response through which it collected samples for testing at the National Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa as well as the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, some of which came out positive.

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The Director explained that the Department is collaborating with neighbouring states to checkmate further spread of the disease from contiguous states through border surveillance as he advised residents to take their personal hygiene seriously.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Primary Health Care Board, Ishaq Vatsa, said diphtheria is caused by bacteria which signs includes fever, running nose, difficulty in breathing and can be transmitted through sneezing, droplets, coughing and contact with contaminated persons.

Vatsa advised residents to visit the over 400 vaccines outlets across the territory to get vaccinated against the disease.

Dictionary.com says it is a febrile, infectious disease caused by the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheriae, and characterised by the formation of a false membrane in the air passages, especially the throat.

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