Diphtheria death toll hits 13 in Kaduna

The death toll from diphtheria outbreak in Kaduna State has peaked at 13 going by official figures.

A breakdown shows 10 people reportedly died from the disease in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, while 3 children died in Makarfi Local Government Area and seven others were hospitalised.

Confirming the outbreak in Markafi LGA, Local Council Health Secretary, Malam Aliyu Alhassan disclosed that the suspected cases occurred at Tashar Na Kawu community in Gubuchi Ward of the area.

He said: “Affected victims were children and the specimen of the victims was forwarded to Abuja for analysis. Those suspected with the disease have been taken to hospital and isolated for medical observation and contact tracing is going on to prevent further spread of the disease”.

Already, the Kaduna State government has alerted citizens on the outbreak and directed the Ministry of Health to send an emergency team to investigate cases and take immediate action.

Meanwhile, the Chief Epidemiologist, of Kaduna State Ministry of Health, Dr Jeremiah Daikwo has lamented that some communities in the state were rejecting vaccine against anthrax that broke out in some states, a bacterial disease that affects domestic and wild animals and can infect human beings especially children who may have had contact with infected animals.

He said in an interview that their findings disclosed that 17 people were infected and “we are still doing contact search to identify more people who may have been infected”.

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