A student at Evansdale Elementary School in north Edmonton has been diagnosed with the serious vaccine-preventable disease, diphtheria, exposing a number of classmates at the same time, according to a CBC report Monday.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) confirmed the case on Friday and is contacting individuals who may have had close contact with the student.
“At this time, no other cases have been identified and the risk to the public remains extremely low,” spokesperson Kerry Williamson wrote in an email to CBC News Monday.
“AHS encourages parents and guardians to ensure they and their children are up to date on their immunizations.”
Diphtheria: A short history, the disease, treatment and the success of the vaccines
Diphtheria is a dangerous respiratory disease is caused by a potent toxin produced by certain strains of the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Diphtheria is extremely contagious through coughing or sneezing. Risk factors include crowding, poor hygiene, and lack of immunization.
Symptoms usually appear within a week of infection. This infection is characterized by a sore throat, coughing and fever very similar to many common diseases like strep throat. Additional symptoms may be bloody, watery discharge from the nose and rapid breathing. However, a presumptive diagnosis can be made by observing a characteristic thick grayish patch (membrane) found in the throat. In more severe cases, neck swelling and airway obstruction may be observed. In the tropics, cutaneous and wound diphtheria is much more common and can be a source of transmission.
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The real serious danger is when the toxin that is produced by the bacterium gets into the bloodstream and spreads to organs like the heart and nervous system. Myocarditis, congestive heart failure and neurological illnesses of paralysis that mimic Guillain-Barre syndrome are most severe. Even with treatment, fatalities are still seen in up to 10% of cases.
Diphtheria can be treated and cured successfully with antitoxin and antibiotics if started early enough. The prevention of diphtheria is through vaccination.
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10 thoughts on “Alberta: Edmonton elementary school student diagnosed with diphtheria”
So was the student vaccinated or not? Article doesn’t say….
Don’t you hate that? Also where did the kid get it from???
You’d think they would have mentioned whether the child had been vaccinated prior or not considering there is a slim chance it can be contracted even with vaccination. Also, no mention on where this particular child could have caught this disease from?!?
Why the picture unlessfor shock factor? This isn’t even a picture of the child in the article. Misleading. Also, how did he get it? Would be nice to have a full reported story,
Are children required to be vaccinated for this before starting school??
Yes..more info.was he vaccinated and where did he catch from
This disease comes from a 3rd world country with unsanitary conditions. Poor diet and hygiene… these refugees should not be allowed in schools. They should be isolated and quarantined for a period of time to observe any that are potential risks! Prior to Trudeau our immigration had strict rules regarding illnesses… Stop blaming non vaccinated children and put the blame on our Government not assuring Canadians of public safety by bringing these diseases to our Country.
You are an idiot!
This disease comes from a 3rd world country with unsanitary conditions, poor diet and hygiene… these refugees should not be allowed in schools. They should be isolated and quarantined for a period of time to observe any that are potential risks! Prior to Trudeau our immigration had strict rules regarding illnesses… Stop blaming non vaccinated children and put the blame on our Government not assuring Canadians of public safety by bringing these diseases to our Country.
What a pile of vaccine pushing propaganda! Try some investigative journalism!