In a follow-up on the diphtheria outbreak in Alsunta locality in South Darfur State, Sudan, the Ministry of Health in South Darfur State is now reporting 80 cases of confirmed diphtheria, including 10 deaths in Alsunta locality, according to an 3 Ayin report (computer translated).
Health authorities attributes this recent resurgence of diphtheria cases in this locality to the prolonged absence of primary healthcare services, which manifested in the closure of some health facilities and inadequate vaccination services provided to the local population.
The director general of the state’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Muhammad Idris Abd al-Rahman told local media, “Immediately after the appearance of the disease, the ministry spent several days and took samples and sent six of them to the reference laboratory that proved a positive condition.”
He pointed to sending another more specialized delegation from the capital Khartoum and taking additional samples to ensure that it is clinically and clinically proven to be Diphtheria cases that led the ministry to a health and treatment mission to the center of the administrative unit as the largest affected area, indicating that work continues to contain the disease until it does not spread to other region.
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.
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