By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

In a follow-up on the diphtheria situation affecting the Lima area of Peru, The Ministry of Health (Minsa) assured this week that Peru is not in a national emergency situation due to the cases of diphtheria registered in two districts of the capital, and urged the population to remain calm because all measures are being taken containment requirements according to protocols.

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

Luis Suárez Ognio, Deputy Minister of Public Health of the Minsa, explained that there is an outbreak focused on the district of La Victoria, with four members of the same family who were detected the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae, – unfortunately, a five-year-old girl died – but to date no other case has been registered.

He clarified that the 69-year-old woman, from San Martín de Porres, who died at the Cayetano Heredia Hospital, was a carrier of a type of diphtheria bacteria that did not produce toxins and that the clinical picture she presented – which was the cause of her death – was not compatible with this disease.

In the district of La Victoria – he said – the Minsa vaccinated 7,097 people in 2,955 homes around the house where the family of the deceased girl lived and carried out 88 tests on people with respiratory problems, but all were negative. In San Martín de Porres no more suspected cases have been identified either.

“There is no reason to generate alarm, there is no reason to carry out a vaccination campaign for diphtheria at this time,” said Suárez Ognio, who clarified that the epidemiological alert issued by the Minsa is so that the country’s health facilities are vigilant and report any suspicious case and not to alarm the population.

All children who have their full Pentavalent vaccines (3 doses) plus two boosters are protected against diphtheria.

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