11 diphtheria patients from other localities treated in the city

By DA NANG Today / DA NANG Today
November 07, 2019, 10:13 [GMT+7]

Since the start of this year, the Da Nang Maternity and Paediatrics Hospital has received and treated 11 diphtheria-affected patients from the central provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai. Four of them have been successfully treated and discharged from the hospital, 5 others are now being treated and seeing positive recovery, the remaining 2 have died.

In recent years, the extremely contagious disease has been found scattered across the country, and this year, it is raging some parts of the central provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai. Many patients from the 2 localities have been rushed to the Da Nang Maternity and Paediatrics Hospital for emergency treatment.

The provincial authorities are taking urgent and drastic measures to prevent the spread of infectious disease at home, school or at work, including testing for the bacteria and spraying disinfectant.

The hospital has received 20 bottles of antitoxin from the by the Drug Administration of Viet Nam, and borrowed more from medical establishments nationwide to treat diphtheria patients.

Fortunately, no case of diphtheria has been reported in Da Nang since the start of this year.

Diphtheria, a bacterial infection, can result in high fever, sore throat, swollen glands in the neck, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can cause life-threatening complications like difficulty in breathing, pneumonia, nerve damage, paralysis and damage to the heart muscle.

Children and adults with diphtheria are treated in a hospital. After a doctor confirms the diagnosis through a throat culture, the infected person receives a special anti-toxin, given through injections or an IV, to neutralise the diphtheria toxin already circulating in the body, plus antibiotics to kill the remaining diphtheria bacteria.

According to medical experts, every person who is successfully vaccinated helps slow the spread of the infection, reducing risks to unvaccinated people. The more the people vaccinated the higher the chance of ‘herd immunity’, which refers to a community’s resistance to disease if sufficient numbers of people acquire immunity, especially through vaccination. Those who are not immunised are much more highly likely to become infected in case of an outbreak in a community where the vaccination rate is low.

Viet Nam has managed, contained, and controlled the spread of the disease for many years through the national vaccination and immunisation programme.

Last year, 2 deaths linked to diphtheria were recorded in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum.