Shocking news has spread last week when a 10-year-old girl in Manila died within hours after being clinically diagnosed with diphtheria.
Because of this news, parents became alarmed and anxious about their children’s health. Some of them even decided to not let their children go to school. But according to the Department of Health, there’s no Diptheria outbreak and everything is under control.
What is Diphtheria?
According to the World Health Organization, diphtheria is an infectious disease that infects the throat and upper airways and produces a toxin affecting other organs.
Direct physical contact, coughs, and sneezes of infected individuals can be the cause of transmission of Diphtheria to another person.
On the other hand, WHO stated that diphtheria is fatal in 5 to 10% of cases with a higher mortality rate in young children.
Diphtheria in the Philippines
As of September 2019, data from the Department of Health shows that there are almost 167 cases of diphtheria, with 40 reported deaths.
While higher cases were recorded last year, whereas 122 cases and 30 deaths were reported.
How do you catch diphtheria?
For instance, a person can get diphtheria by infected skin wounds, mucus, and saliva, objects, and clothes of an infected person.
Take note that toxic infection often attacks the nose and throat.
Early signs of Diphtheria includes:
- Swollen glands on the neck
- Low fever
- Fast heart rate
- Nasal Discharge
- Dizziness and vomiting
Vaccination is the best way to prevent diphtheria. If not, there’s a huge chance of being infected by the disease.
Also, children should get a booster vaccine called Tdap (a vaccine that helps to protect against cough, tetanus, and diphtheria) at 11 or 12 years old.
While adults need a booster called the Td vaccine (for tetanus and diphtheria) every 10 years.
For the past few weeks, various cases of polio, meningococcemia, dengue, and diphtheria have been reported in the country. Parents were frightened and alarmed for their children’s health.
As responsible adults, we need to remember that we are responsible for our family’s health. To prevent any diseases, make sure that your children are vaccinated and have booster shots. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.