Parents urged to vaccinate children against deadly diphtheria

THE City has urged parents to ensure children, up to 12 years of age, are vaccinated against deadly diphtheria. Diphtheria an acute and highly contagious bacterial disease causing inflammation of the mucous membranes, formation of a false membrane in the throat which hinders breathing and swallowing, and potentially fatal heart and nerve damage by a bacterial toxin in the blood.

“The disease starts with a sore throat, mild fever and chills. This is usually followed by swelling of the throat and neck caused by the diphtheria toxin making a thick coating on the back of the nose or throat. It may be white or greyish. The coating makes it hard to breathe or swallow.

Read also: Travellers warned to protect themselves against malaria

“If a child presents the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important to visit your nearest health care facility immediately. The disease is contagious and can be fatal if not treated timeously,” the City said in a statement.

Vaccinations for Diphtheria are available free of charge at all public health care centres around eThekwini Municipality.

 

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