By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

In a follow-up on the first diphtheria case reported in Peru in 20 years,  health officials report three confirmed cases linked to the deceased 5-year-old’s direct relatives, who are currently stable and do not require the administration of antitoxin diphtheria.

Image/Robert Herriman

In addition, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) confirmed Wednesday that a 69-year-old patient, who died at the Cayetano Heredia Hospital in Lima due to a respiratory problem caused by a pre-existing disease, was identified with the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae in the molecular test processed by the National Institute of Health (INS) and whose final result was known this afternoon.

The patient arrived at the Cayetano Heredia hospital on October 29, received antibiotic therapy and oxygen support, but unfortunately she died on Friday, October 30.

As soon as the case was confirmed, the patient’s contacts were identified and the family members’ homes were visited in the San Martín de Porres district, who were given prophylactic treatment with antibiotics, and the tests were taken and they were vaccinated against diphtheria. The same was done with the hospital staff.

This prompted a blockade vaccination campaign – to all people who did not have a diphtheria vaccine – covering 121 blocks in the surrounding areas of the deceased patient’s home with 40 health brigades.

Luis Suárez Ognio, Vice Minister of Public Health said that to date the origin of the infections has not been detected, but the INS is developing a genotyping study that will establish whether the bacteria that entered Peru are related to any that exist in the countries that register this disease.