One dead, 355 people isolated to prevent further spread of diphtheria

The public health in the South-Central Province of Dak Nong has isolated 335 people to prevent further spread of diphtheria, an acute respiratory disease caused by infection with Corynebacterium diphtheria, after a death of a child succumbing to the fatal disease.

People are isolated to prevent further spread of diphtheria (Photo: SGGP)

People are isolated to prevent further spread of diphtheria (Photo: SGGP)

Deputy Director of the Department of Health in Dak Nong Ha Van Hung yesterday said the local health authority has tried to stamp out diphtheria outbreaks in Quang Hoa Commune in Dak G’Long District. So far, two people in the commune have contracted the disease; one died while another was in critical condition.
A 9-year-old girl in the commune was rushed to the province’s General Hospital while she was suffering coughing, sore throat and breathing problem on June 19. Because the girl was in critical condition, she was transferred to the Tropical Disease Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for further treatment; however, she was pronounced dead on the next morning due to complication of acute respiratory diphtheria-the damaged heart muscle.
Another 9-year-old girl next to the first girl’s house in critical condition has been receiving intensive care at the local hospital.
Mr. Hung said that the local health authority has quarantined 355 people in the neighborhood as well as provided treatment for residents here.
Local authorities and healthcare organizations have utilized chemicals to purge bacteria in the infected zone and advised locals to get vaccinated and wear masks during contact with the infected.
Before, on June 14, four children, including the deceased, tested positive for diphtheria. After receiving treatment, four all were negative for the virus and they are recovering. All 435 people who are at risk of contracting the disease have been given medications. Health workers have sprayed disinfectants the area.
Diphtheria is fatal in 5 – 10 percent of cases, with a higher mortality rate in young children.

By Dong Nguyen - Translated by Anh Quan

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