In a follow-up to reports on the diphtheria situation in Malaysia, the health ministry is reporting the first case of the disease in Perak State, bringing the country total to 28, including 5 deaths.

Corynebacterium diphtheriae/CDC
Corynebacterium diphtheriae/CDC

According to Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the patient, a four-year-old girl from Taiping became ill on Aug. 12 presenting with mild symptoms of fever, cough and sore throat without any complications.

She was admitted to the hospital five days later and laboratory testing revealed she was positive for the bacterium, Corynebacterium diphtheriae. She was immunized against the infection.

“She is being treated with antibiotics and recovering,” the director-general noted.

Health officials are monitoring all contacts from her pre-school and family members.

The breakdown by state for diphtheria cases in Malaysia this year is as follows: Kedah (9 cases, 1 death), Negri Sembilan (7 cases), Sabah (5 cases, 3 deaths), Malacca (3 cases, 1 death), Penang (2 cases) and Selangor and Perak with one case reported each.

Malaysian health officials urge parents to ensure their children are properly immunized.