By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Up to 25 medical students at the Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) in Kalaburagi district in Karnataka have contracted the vaccine-preventable disease, diphtheria,
All the cases have been reported at GIMS Girl Hostel in recent days.
While five of the students were given treatment on an outpatient basis as their condition was found to be stable, 20 others remain in the hospital and are undergoing treatment.
All the 110 students residing in the girl’s hostel were screened by the ENT Department as they were suffering from fever, sore throat and patch over tonsils.
The first student was diagnosed on August 30 by doctors in the ENT department at the hospital. Hospital officials suspect that she was exposed to a patient in the outpatient department (OPD) who had diphtheria.
Diphtheria is an acute bacterial infection of respiratory system which can cause mild to severe illness. Symptoms, develop 2 – 5 days after infection, include fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands in the neck. Severe illness presents with swollen neck and thick gray or white patch of dead tissue in the throat and tonsils caused by the bacterial toxin.
Complications are blocking of the airway and absorption of the toxin into the blood stream that may cause damage to the heart, kidneys and peripheral nerves and thus can lead to death. The severely ill patient must visit a hospital for a special medical care immediately to save life.
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Diphtheria is spread from person to person, usually through respiratory droplets, from coughing, sneezing and close contact. A person can also get infected by contacting with shared utensils contaminated with the bacteria. Some mild cases can transmit the bacteria to people around them. Recovered patients might not develop immunity against the disease.
The best way to prevent diphtheria is to get vaccinated.