The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, through its Public Health Department has confirmed the death of a four year old child over the outbreak of diphtheria disease in Deidei part of Abuja.

The Director, FCT Public Health Department, Dr. Sadiq Abdulrahman who made this known during a press briefing in Abuja, explained that Diphtheria is a serious bacteria infection that could be prevented with vaccines .

Dr Abdulrahman therefore encouraged residents to take their personal hygiene seriously, and ensure that children access all their routine immunization, as well as report cases of fever associated with respiratory challenge to nearest Primary Health Care Center.

According to him, the disease had been established in about twenty one states across the country, and is capable of affecting people of all ages, pointing out that the recorded cases in FCT were imported from Niger and Kano states.

He however said there was no cause for alarm as the FCT Administration has a robust surveillance system, as well as collaborating with neighbouring states to guard against further spread of the disease.

His words: ” two weeks ago we got information from a community within the FCT of about 8 suspected cases which triggered our team to pick some samples which were taken to the National Reference Laboratory Gaduwa and the NCDC. As at Friday afternoon the results came out. Out of the eight suspected cases, one came out positive ”

On his part, the Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Yahaya Vatsa explained that the symptoms of the disease include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, red eyes, neck swelling, and difficulty breathing.

He said Diphtheria could easily be spread through direct contact with infected people, droplets from coughing or sneezing and contact with contaminated clothing and objects.

Dr Vatsa reiterated the readiness of FCTA through the Primary Health Care Board to re-vaccinate all children within 6weeks to 14yrs in the affected community with the appropriate vaccines.

“irrespective of their previous vaccination status. (6wks – <4yrs will receive Penta Vaccine, while 4yrs – 14yrs will receive Td vaccine) There will be RI intensification exercise across the 6 Area Councils with increased access to the Routine Immunization services “.

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