DOH: Manila student died of diphtheria

DOH: Manila student died of diphtheria
A student walks past the gates at the Jacinto Zamora Elementary School, which resumed classes yesterday after health officers disinfected the premises.
The STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Diphtheria—a vaccine-preventable infectious disease—caused the death of an elementary student in Manila last week, the Department of Health confirmed Thursday.

DOH Usec. Eric Domingo said the 10-year-old girl died due to diphtheria, according to a tweet report of News5.

The girl, a student of Jacinto Zamora Elementary School reportedly had a fever on September 13. She developed rashes and mouth sores and eventually died on September 30, within hours after she was diagnosed with the bacterial disease.

According to the World Health Organization, diphtheria is an infectious disease which infects the throat and upper airways and produces a toxin affecting other organs. Its symptoms include sore throat, low fever and swollen glands in the neck. In severe cases, the toxin may cause myocarditis or peripheral neuropathy.

The disease is transmitted through direct physical contact or from breathing in the aerosolized secretions from coughs or sneezes of infected individuals.

WHO said that diphtheria is fatal in 5 to 10% of cases with a higher mortality rate in young children.

Data from the Department of Health showed that as of September 7, there are already 167 cases of diphtheria, with 40 reported deaths. In the same period last year, there were 122 cases and 30 deaths.

The Philippines is already grappling with outbreaks of dengue, measles and polio due to low immunization rates. — Gaea Katreena Cabico with a report from News5




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