Alarming rise in diphtheria worries docs

Alarming rise in diphtheria worries docs
Highlights

The devastating bacterial infection, diphtheria is rare in most countries, thanks to vaccines. However, there have been alarming rise in incidents of the disease in the city. Upto 25 cases were recorded in the last week of August and six children died due to this disease.

The devastating bacterial infection, diphtheria is rare in most countries, thanks to vaccines. However, there have been alarming rise in incidents of the disease in the city. Upto 25 cases were recorded in the last week of August and six children died due to this disease.

Immunisation is key to preventing the viral bacterial infection, which is caused by Corynebacterium diphtheria. Doctors explained that it is an infection that affects the mucous membrane of the nose and throat and if not treated in the initial stages, it can be fatal.

City-based doctor, who is a child’s specialist, Dr Santosh Patil informs, “Diphtheria cases were mostly seen in children under the age group of three to 12 years who have not been vaccinated. Vaccines are three primary and two booster doses.

“For symptoms, we observe if the patients have barking cough for three months through which we can tell that they suffering from this diseases. The toxins spread through bloodstream and often cause a thick gray coating to form in nose, throat and tongue. Symptoms vary based on infected location and could be very mild.

Typical infections are on the tonsils, throat and also in respiratory tract around the vocal cords,” he says. The diphtheria virus creates a toxin, which can cause severe illness like high fever, stupor, coma and death. Following the rise in cases, children were immunised on August 24 for the disease.

“DPT and DTWP vaccines against three infectious diseases, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus are administered. The vaccine components include diphtheria and tetanus toxics that kill cells of the organism that causes pertursis,” explains Dr Patil.

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