The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has made an announcement regarding an outbreak of diphtheria infection in certain parts of Abuja.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by the corynebacterium species that primarily affects the nose, throat, and, in some cases, the skin.
Symptoms of diphtheria may include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling, and difficulty breathing.
During a media conference, Sadiq Abdulrahman, the FCT director of the public health department, revealed that the disease has already claimed the life of a four-year-old child.
Abdulrahman stated that the outbreak was confirmed in the nation’s capital after one of the samples taken from suspected cases in a village close to the Dei-Dei area tested positive.
He urged residents to prioritize personal hygiene and advised them to report any unusual symptoms, particularly those related to respiratory health, to the appropriate authorities.
“Two weeks ago, we received information about eight cases in a community within the FCT, which prompted our team to collect some samples,” he explained. “The samples were sent to the National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, and the NCDC, and one of the suspected cases tested positive.”
The director mentioned that the department is collaborating with neighboring states to prevent further spread of the disease through border surveillance.
Yahaya Vatsa, the executive secretary of the FCT Primary Health Care Board (PHCB), also addressed the issue, stating that unvaccinated individuals and those living in crowded and unhygienic environments are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.
To reduce the risk of contracting diphtheria, FCT residents are advised to ensure that their children receive the recommended three doses of the pentavalent vaccine, as outlined in the national childhood immunization schedule.
The executive secretary further revealed that the FCTA, through the PHCB, has developed plans to administer revaccinations to all children under 14 years of age in the affected communities.