South Africa diphtheria update: 15 cases and four deaths - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
Subscribe: RSS Twitter

The last laboratory-confirmed case of respiratory diphtheria in South Africa occurred in February 2010.

This child with diphtheria presented with a characteristic swollen neck, sometimes referred to as “bull neck”.  Image/CDC

This child with diphtheria presented with a characteristic swollen neck, sometimes referred to as “bull neck”. Image/CDC

In a follow-up to a report in late April, the number of cases of the acute, toxin-mediated disease has grown in the KwaZulu-Natal Province (eThekwini and Ugu districts).

According to a posting on ProMed Mail by experts at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, as at 6 Jul 2015, a total of 15 diphtheria cases (11 of which are laboratory-confirmed as toxin producing) including 4 deaths have been reported. 6 asymptomatic carriers of laboratory-confirmed toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae were identified in contacts of 4 diphtheria cases.

Cases range in age from 4 to 41 years (median 10 years). Where vaccination history has been verified (6), 4 case-patients were not up to date with their diphtheria immunizations according to age.

Diphtheria antitoxin treatment (DAT) was procured through a generous donation by the Japanese government, and has been administered to 6 case-patients to date. Outbreak response has included a number of public health interventions, notably the provision of antimicrobials to close contacts and catch-up vaccination campaigns and health promotion activities. In addition, molecular characterization of isolates is being undertaken.

Since the last suspected case of diphtheria was identified on 12 Jun 2015, 3 weeks have passed. Heightened surveillance will continue for any new cases.

Source

3 Comments

  1. […] South Africa diphtheria update: 15 cases and four deaths  […]

  2. you are really a excellent webmaster. The site loading speed
    is incredible. It kind of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick.
    Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a wonderful job in this topic!

  3. […] News Today. South African diphtheria update: 15 cases and four deaths. Posted on July 8, 2015. http://outbreaknewstoday.com/south-africa-diphtheria-update-15-cases-and-four-deaths-73314/. Accessed 16 February […]

Leave a Reply

© 2016 Outbreak News Today · Subscribe: RSS Twitter ·