Another diphtheria patient dies

Another diphtheria patient dies

The death toll due to the disease in Odisha rises to six

Berhampur: A 10-year-old diphtheria patient died at MKCG Medical College and Hospital here on Wednesday night. With this, the death toll due to diphtheria rose to six in Odisha.

The deceased hailed from Kumbhariput village under Bandhugaon block in Koraput district. He was in a critical condition and was shifted to the High Dependency Unit (HDU) of the Department of Paediatric after his condition deteriorated. He died while undergoing treatment, said Prof Suchitra Dash, Principal-cum Superintendent of the MKCG Medical College and Hospital.

Three more children after being diagnosed with diphtheria are undergoing treatment at the MKCGMCH. Since June 12, five children, including four from Kashipur area in Rayagada district and one from Kumbhariput in Koraput district, have been admitted here.

Of the five patients from Rayagada, a 12-year-old girl died on June 13, while the condition of the rest is serious, MKCGMCH sources said.

The MKCGMCH has opened a five-bed separate ward in its Department of Paediatric for children suffering from diphtheria as the number of such cases has gone up recently in the southern districts of the State. As diphtheria is a highly contagious disease, an isolation ward has been set up. The authority makes all effort to increase the number of beds if the flow of patients increases.

To check the spread of this disease and proper treatment of the patients, the MKCGMCH authority has begun a vaccination drive among the doctors, nursing officers and attendants by administering Tetanus and Diphtheria (TD).

“We have administered TD vaccine to about 90 staffers of the Department of Paediatric who attend to the patients 24X7 and five relatives of the patients within three days,” HoD Prof Narendra Behera said.

Earlier, five deaths due to diphtheria were reported in the State. The Odisha government on Wednesday launched a special vaccination drive in Rayagada district to contain the diphtheria outbreak, especially in the Kashipur area, which witnessed the death of five children.

As the outbreak has spread to the neighbouring districts of Kalahandi and Koraput, the Health and Family Welfare department has asked district administrations to take measures to prevent the disease from spreading further.

As per the measures, children under one year of age will be given the pentavalent vaccines while those aged between one and seven years will be administered single-dose diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus (DPT) vaccines. Besides, children above seven years will be administered Tetanus and Diphtheria (TD) doses, sources said.

After the detection of the cases of diphtheria in Rayagada, Kalahandi and Koraput districts, the tribal-dominated Gajapati and Kandhamal districts have also been under surveillance. “We have alerted the medical officers to conduct tests for diphtheria if anybody shows symptoms of the disease,” said Gajapati Chief District Medical

Officer R K Patra.

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