By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Health officials at the Government Fever Hospital in Hyderabad, Telangana state, India are reporting a surge in cases of the vaccine-preventable disease, diphtheria.
According to a Times of India report, during the past two months they have seen 240 cases reported from Hyderabad, including seven death in just the past month.
Cases are being reported across all age groups.
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.