HCMC – A 20-year-old man in HCMC has reportedly contracted diphtheria and 16 others who came in contact with him have been quarantined, making the city the second locality in Vietnam to be hit by the disease this year after Dak Nong Province.
The patient, who is studying at a military school in the city, was admitted to Military Hospital 175 in HCMC on June 17 after developing symptoms such as fever, sore throat and swollen glands in his neck and jaw, said Phan Ba Hieu from the hospital’s Infectious Disease Department on June 25.
Suspecting that he could catch diphtheria, the doctors collected his sample for testing and sent it to the HCMC Pasteur Institute to be double-checked. The two test results confirmed he had the disease.
The hospital then reported his case to the competent agencies to promptly disinfect the affected areas.
Besides this, all the areas in the hospital that the patient accessed were isolated and disinfected. At least 16 people who were in close contact with him were quarantined and given medicines to prevent diphtheria. Some health workers and other patients who interacted with him also took the medicine to prevent an infection.
After nine days of treatment, his condition has improved, with the fever, sore throat and swollen glands in his neck having gone away.
According to Dr. Hieu, diphtheria is categorized as a Type B infectious disease. Not getting vaccinated and late detection of the disease could leave infected patients suffering from severe aftereffects such as damage to the nerves, heart, kidneys, paralysis of respiratory muscles or even death.
For prevention, people were advised to get enough shots of the diphtheria vaccine and take medication if they come into close contact with those infected. Further, wearing face masks is a must to avoid infection as diphtheria is an infectious respiratory disease.