Diphtheria claims lives of two children at Niloufer - The New Indian Express

Diphtheria claims lives of two children at Niloufer

Published: 28th August 2013 08:48 AM

Last Updated: 28th August 2013 08:48 AM

Suspected diphtheria cases killed two children in the city on Tuesday, while as many as 50 children were brought to the Fever Hospital with the same complains. All the affected children are from Gopanpally village in Rangareddy district.

Three-year-old Prabhu and another girl Vaishali succumbed to the infection at Niloufer Hospital and a private hospital in Gachibowli respectively. Out of the 50 children who were brought to Fever Hospital, five have been admitted while the rest were treated as outpatients and sent away after administering precautionary oral pills.

Doctors have not confirmed diphtheria as the cause of deaths as they said only a detailed laboratory culture of material from the throat could confirm the infection, and is a time consuming process. However, the district collector’s office stated that there was no need to panic as the district administration were taking necessary precautionary steps and holding health camps.

Dr D Ranganath, superintendent, Niloufer Hospital said that Prabhu was brought to the hospital on the 24 August with a shock(respiratory and cardiac problem). “The only competent government hospital in the city to treat diphtheria is Fever Hospital, but the boy was brought here and we suspected diphtheria. We took ENT opinion and got medicine from Fever Hospital since it was not possible to shift the boy anywhere”, he said. The boy took his last breath in the wee hours of Tuesday.

Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness caused by coryne-bacterium diphtheriae.

Characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity, it is a contagious disease spread by direct physical contact or breathing. Lack of timely and regular vaccination is the cause for the infection. Doctors pointed out that the infection is possibly due to the absence of DPT vaccination in children.

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