The most recent death from diphtheria was a four-year-old boy who passed away at a hospital in the Central Highlands Province of Gia Lai, said Director of the Department of Health Mai Xuan Hai. After the boy died on July 5.
Twenty-four people who had close contact with him were tested and nine of them were positive for the bacteria. They are parents and neighbors of the dead boy who are being isolated in the province General Hospital and the Children Hospital.
The boy started having a sore throat after his visit to his uncle in the Central Highlands Province of Kon Tum where diphtheria has broken out. He was self-medicated at home but his symptom did not improve. Test results have shown he was positive for diphtheria.
The patient’s family said he had been given diphtheria vaccine in the first year of life and again when he was 18 months old.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has ordered strong actions to prevent the spread of diphtheria after the country has recorded 26 infection cases and three deaths this year.
Nguyen Trong Khoa, deputy head of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment under the Ministry of Health noticed that the disease usually spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, like from coughing or sneezing; therefore, infirmaries must prepare quarantine ward like isolation of Covid-19 patients.
Most of diphtheria patients are unvaccinated, said Dr. Dang Thi Thanh Huyen from the National Expanded Immunization Program.
The Department of Medical Examination and Treatment has organized training course to treat diphtheria, dengue and coronavirus for medical workers in the Central Highlands region due to the complicated development of the disease.