Four diphtheria fatalities in KZN

2015-06-25 06:00

FOUR deaths from diphtheria have been confirmed by the Department of Health over the past three months.

Three cases have been reported on the South Coast, with the most recent being two adults in Gamalakhe CHC.

The department said the first person with diphtheria was hospitalised on 15 March. The tracing of possible cases started immediately and was extended to the affected schools. The vaccination of all children who missed their booster doses of Tetanus-diphtheria vaccine at six and 12 started immediately.

It has been stated that the outbreak is limited to Ugu District and eThekwini, targeting children between six and 15, who missed their booster doses. However, routine immunisation continues in schools and clinics.

The department urges parents to take their children to the clinic for immunisation, even those who missed their booster doses.

MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo has allayed public fears following reports about the death of a child with diphtheria and the admission into hospital of two others suspected of being infected with the disease.

In reaction to the reports, Dhlomo said: “I don’t want us to press the panic button as if we have an outbreak of diphtheria. I’m saying this because when we followed the cases of the children who have been admitted, we found that one of them does not have a ‘road to health chart’, which means we cannot ascertain when last this child was immunised. The second child who demised at eight years of age was last immunised at 14 weeks. Now this is probably due to absent mothers.

“Diphtheria is a preventable disease, and we call upon our compatriots to make sure they adhere to the vaccination schedules we have for them.”

According to the department, diphtheria is caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. This germ produces a toxin that can harm or destroy human body tissues and organs. One type of diphtheria affects the throat and sometimes the tonsils. Another type, more common in the tropics, causes ulcers on the skin. Diphtheria affects people of all ages, but most often it strikes children who are not immunised

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.