|Children are vunerable to diphtheria infection
As of June 24, diphtheria has claimed the life of one resident in Glong district, while an additional 12 people have tested positive for diphtheria bacteria in both Krong No and Dak Glong districts. The Dak Nong Provincial Center for Disease Control has moved to quarantine more than 1,200 people who came into close contact with positive cases.
The Ministry of Health has therefore directed the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to dispatch experts to Dak Nong in order to isolate the affected areas, conduct epidemiological investigations, and guide local people by educating them on various preventive measures that can be taken.
"For diphtheria, the most important thing is early detection,” said Dang Quang Tan, director of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health. “Antibiotics have been used to treat patients and they have proved effective without any antibiotic resistance. The outbreak has now been brought under control."
The Ministry of Health has also ordered the local health sector to carry out additional vaccinations for people aged between seven to under 40 throughout Dak Nong.
According to Tan, the failure to fully vaccinate through four shots in accordance to the vaccination schedule is the main cause for the recent increase in diphtheria cases in Dak Nong.
Diphtheria has yet to be eradicated nationwide, with vaccination representing the best possible solution in order to prevent someone from suffering from bacterial infection.
As diphtheria is easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing, people have been advised to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing, frequently wash their hands with soap, and limit their contact with suspected cases.