Four children are admitted with a diagnosis of diphtheria at the Robert Reid Cabral hospital in Santo Domingo. The minors come from the communities of Barahona and Duvergé.
These are children from two different families in two distant communities, implying an active outbreak in both communities.
The children range in age from two months to four years, the hospital said.
Diphtheria is a bacterial disease that causes respiratory tract and skin infections. It can spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing, and through contact with infected skin sores.
Diphtheria bacteria make a toxin (poison) that kills healthy tissues in the respiratory system. Within two to three days, the dead tissue forms a thick, gray coating that can build up in the throat or nose making it very hard to breathe and swallow. If the toxin gets into the blood stream, it can cause heart, nerve, and kidney damage.
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