Diphtheria toll up to six, three Odisha villages in containment zone

The affected children are under special care and accommodated in a separate ward.
Health team vaccinating residents of Manuspadar village
Health team vaccinating residents of Manuspadar village Photo | Express

BERHAMPUR: With the death of a 10-year-old boy from Koraput due to diphtheria, the toll has gone up to six in the state.

Dipuna Melaka, the 10-year-old from Kumbhariput village in Koraput, succumbed to the disease while undergoing treatment at MKCG medical college and hospital here. He was admitted to the hospital along with three others on June 17 and his condition was critical, informed MKCG MCH superintendent Prof Sucharita Das. The rest three are under treatment and their condition is stable, she said.

The affected children are under special care and accommodated in a separate ward. Health staff and doctors treating them have been advised to wear masks as diphtheria is highly contagious, said Prof Narendra Behera of paediatrics department. He said the parents of the affected kids have been vaccinated along with 23 staffs of the paediatrics department.

Meanwhile, a special vaccination drive has been started in Rayagada district, particularly in Kashipur where five children succumbed to the disease. As the disease spread to neighbouring districts of Kalahandi and Koraput, the Health and Family Welfare department has asked administrations to take preventive measures to contain it.

As part of a special drive, children aged below one year will be administered pentavalent vaccines while those aged between one and seven will be administered single-dose diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus (DPT) vaccines. Besides, children above seven years of age will be administered tetanus and diphtheria (TD) doses. A team from the Health and Family Welfare department visited MKCG Medical College and Hospital and interacted with the superintendent and treating doctors at the special ward of paediatrics department.

Meanwhile, Rayagada collector Manoj Satyawan Mahajan has declared Manuspadar, Kadakimunda and Gumakuruka villages in Kashipur block, as containment zone. Since the disease is contagious, entry of outsiders to the three villages has been restricted, said CDMO Dr LM Routray.

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