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Diphtheria: Nigeria records 123 cases, 38 deaths



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Nigeria has recorded about 123 cases and 38 deaths resulting from diphtheria in four states namely, Kano, Lagos, Yobe and Osun.

The update was given by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa at the Bi-weekly press conference on COVID-19 pandemic response and development in the health sector in Abuja.

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Represented by the Director of Special Duties, Dr Priscillia Ibekwe, the DG said Kano State has 100 confirmed cases of diphtheria, Yobe 17, Lagos 5 and Osun 1.

He said in addition to the clinically confirmed cases, there are also suspected cases of which the agency is working with the Ministry and partners to ensure surveillance and response to the outbreak.

Adetifa noted that diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease. He urged Nigerians to ensure that they are fully vaccinated against the disease with the prescribed three doses of the pentavalent vaccine.

Reacting to reports making rounds on social media about a new China flu which allegedly claimed the lives of Nigerians, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire urged Nigerians to dismiss it.

He also advised that Nigerians resist unverified information especially in the social media of which most times turn out to be fake news. He stressed that World Health Organisations (WHO) is the authentic body that reports disease outbreaks.

He said “WHO has not contacted us with any information about the flu neither has the Chinese embassy communicated to us on that matter”.

Clearing the doubts about COVID-19 vaccines especially Pfizer, the Minister reiterated that all vaccines are tested and certified by the National Drug Administration food and control (NAFDAC) upon arriving the country and that there is no need to panic.

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