Ondo State government, yesterday, issued a warning against the outbreak of diphtheria, saying swift and proactive measures would help to mitigate spread of the disease.
Special Adviser to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Health, Prof. Dayo Faduyile, who stressed that the disease poses a significant health risk to individuals within the state, highlighted its contagious nature.
Faduyile said every individual, regardless of age or background, is susceptible to contracting diphtheria due to its infectious properties.
According to the former President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), diphtheria, a life-threatening infection, is primarily caused by bacteria and can be easily transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets expelled during coughing, sneezing, or even through direct skin contact.
He further said the bacteria responsible for diphtheria, known as corynebacterium diphtheriae, produces a toxin that can wreak havoc on various organs, including the respiratory system, heart and skin.
The governor’s aide, while cautioning that everyone is at risk of getting infected with diphtheria, especially children under five years and adults above 60 years, added that death is more pronounced in children below five years and 40-year-old adults.
Faduyile also warned people living in crowded areas with poor personal hygiene to be mindful of the spread of the disease.
He said: “Some other symptoms are general weakness and fatigue, hoarseness, or changes in voice when it affects the vocal cords.”
He said diphtheria is treatable and called on anybody who experiences any of the signs and symptoms to promptly go to the nearest health facility for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The Special Adviser said there is vaccination for children and booster doses for adults, but urged residents to always practice good hygiene.