Malaysians, beware. Your fever might not be a normal one.
A diphtheria outbreak has affected a family in Kuala Muda, which resulted in the death of a 2-year-old. 6 other siblings of the boy were warded at hospitals in Kedah, with 5 of them in stable conditions and the youngest intubated.
The deceased 2-year-old child was originally warded in Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim, but unfortunately, died yesterday (Tuesday, 22nd June) at around 1am after being transferred to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital.
The siblings who are not facing any immediate threat are still placed at Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim while their 10-month-old sibling was transferred from the aforementioned hospital to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital.
Only 3 of the siblings were found to have taken the diphtheria vaccination, while the deceased, the 10-month-old sibling, 3-year-old sibling, and 4-year-old sibling did not take their vaccinations.
40 citizens of Malacca also faced a scare after 7-year-old K. Durgasini succumbed to the disease on 18th June (Saturday).
Diphtheria is a medical condition in which the bacteria attack the body, resulting in sore throat and fever. In severe cases, a huge grey or white patch would develop in the throat, causing the airway to be blocked. Enlarged lymph nodes could also cause the neck to swell up.
As such, patients with a temperature of 37.5°C or above, facing difficulties in breathing and swallowing, as well as having a sore throat are advised to visit a clinic or hospital.
Although diphtheria could be cured easily with antibiotics, it is still a fast-spreading disease, as the germs could release toxins that will attack the nerve, heart, and kidney systems in a short period of time.
Parents are also encouraged to send their toddlers for a Diphtheria immunisation program. The vaccines will be given to the child 4 times, once each when they are 2, 3, 5 and 18 months old.
Source: Dr Zubaidi Hj Ahmad via Facebook.