The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has admonished people who are more likely to contract diphtheria to be vaccinated right away.
This advise was provided by the NCDC on Thursday in a message on its Twitter account, which also included a list of people who were more likely to contract the infection.
“Those at higher risk include children and adults who have not received a dose of the diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine,” NCDC tweeted.
“Others are people living in crowded environments and areas with poor sanitation as well as healthcare workers and those exposed to cases of diphtheria.”
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Additionally, the NCDC urged patients to receive anti-diphtheria immunization at local basic healthcare facilities.
The organization whose mission is to safeguard Nigerians from the effects of communicable illnesses by coordinating laboratory and response functions for all infectious diseases as well as public health readiness, surveillance, and preparedness, also provided information on how diphtheria can be avoided.
It advised parents to make sure their kids receive all three doses of the pentavalent diphtheria antitoxin vaccination required by Nigeria’s childhood immunization schedule to protect them against diphtheria.
“Healthcare workers should maintain a high index of suspicion for diphtheria,” NCDC also added.
“Individuals with signs and symptoms suggestive of diphtheria should isolate themselves and notify their LGA, State Disease Surveillance Officer (DSNO), their State Ministry of Health helpline, or the NCDC through our toll-free line on 6232.”
“Individuals who have come in close contact with a confirmed case of diphtheria should be closely monitored, given antibiotics prophylaxis, and started on diphtheria treatment when indicated.”
“Healthcare workers should practice standard infection prevention and control precautions while handling patients and body fluids.”
“All healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, support staff etc.) with a high level of exposure to cases of diphtheria should be vaccinated against diphtheria.”