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Diphtheria in Nigeria: Kano, Katsina, Lagos & Yobe States

20 Feb 2023

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has reported 145 confirmed cases of diptheria in the first 5 weeks of 2023. All of the confirmed cases are in Kano State. A further 119 suspected cases of diphtheria have been recorded from Kano, Katsina, Lagos and Yobe States.

Diphtheria is a highly contagious infection spread mainly through respiratory secretions from coughs and sneezes. It can cause severe difficulties with breathing. The infection can also affect the skin, causing ulcers. 

Advice for travellers

Travelling abroad can increase your risk of diphtheria.  Make sure you have completed the schedule of vaccines for life in the UK.

  • This means receiving 5 doses of a vaccine giving protection against diphtheria by the time you are a teenager.

If you have completed the national schedule of vaccines for life in the UK:

  • If it has been more than 10 years since your last diphtheria vaccine, you should get a booster dose before travelling to Nigeria.

To reduce your risk of becoming infected whilst travelling, you should also practice good respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene, especially when you are in or have recently been in overcrowded or busy places.

See the fitfortravel Diphtheria page for further information.