The death toll from the diphtheria outbreak in Kaduna State has risen to 17 with 68 suspected cases identified across the state as of Sunday, the Kaduna State Government confirms.

Out of the figure, 14 deaths were recorded in the Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area (LGA), while three fatalities occurred in Makarfi LGA.

Giving an update on the diphtheria outbreak, the Chief Epidemiologist of the state Ministry of Health, Dr Jeremiah Daikwo, explained that the results of 20 samples that had been collected and sent by the ministry for analysis were being awaited, while the 48 cases on admission were in stable condition.

The index case was a four-year-old male child whose illness started on July 4 in Jema’a LGA.

On the action taken by the ministry to tackle the spread of the disease, the chief epidemiologist said that the ministry had intensified the search for active cases with contact tracing, risk communication activities and movement of affected cases to the health facility for management.

He also disclosed that the ministry had intensified surveillance activities across the 23 LGAs of the state, while risk communication activities such as compound meetings, and dialogue with heads of households and community leaders had also been intensified.

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