Diphtheria Outbreak: NBMA Cautions, Urges Drastic Steps to Stop Spread

By Dwelleth Morountodun

The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), has called on the general public to take precautionary measures in other to prevent and stop the spread of Diphtheria infection in the country.

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, who said this in a press statement made available to journalists, stated that owing to the current spread of the disease it is important for the general public to take drastic steps to stop further infection and spread of the disease.

“It is very important that Nigerians should be aware of the health risk Diphtheria disease poses and take caution by adhering to safety measures as the disease spreads further.

“The public to help stop the spread by reporting any case or symptom of Diphtheria to the nearest medical facility, National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Ministry of Health and other relevant Government Agency nearest to them.

“The symptoms for Diphtheria infection include sore throat, cough, drooling of saliva, change of voice, neck swelling, abnormal breathing, fever or mouth odour, among others.” He said.

The illness, he added can be transmitted from infected diphtheria bacteria spread from person to person, usually through respiratory droplets, like from coughing or sneezing. People can also get sick from touching infected open sores or ulcers. Those at increased risk of getting sick include people in the same household, people with a history of frequent, close contact with the patient and people directly exposed to secretions from the suspected infection site (e.g., mouth, skin) of the patient”.

Ebegba advised that it is essential to adhere strictly to the public health safety measures and report likely cases of signs and symptoms to a health facility nearest to you.

He said the NBMA is taking proactive steps while working with other line Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure that biosecurity measures are taken to contain the disease.

Signed: Gloria Ogbaki, NBSM, Media.

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