Hyderabad: In a sign that sounds alarm bells for people of the twin cities, 104 suspected diphtheria cases were registered in the Government Fever hospital at Nallakunta. This hospital usually reports about 15 cases per month.
Diphtheria is a contagious bacterial disease that causes inflammation of the mucous membranes, formation of a false membrane in the throat which hinders breathing and swallowing. This blocks the airway and creates a barking cough, while in some cases bacteria toxins damage all four limbs and make the patient paralytic, A form of diphtheria which involves the skin, eyes or genitals also exists. Complications may include myocarditis, kidney problems, and bleeding problems due to low-level of platelets.
According to physician Dr Harikrishan Boorugu, “during pregnancy and childhood DTP vaccine was given to everyone. However, some vaccines are not effective. It is a contagious disease. When a patient is diagnosed, he is isolated from the general public, while in hospitals they are put in separate wards.
Antibiotics have not been demonstrated to affect healing of local infection in diphtheria patients treated with antitoxin. Antibiotics are used in patients or carriers to eradicate diphtheria and prevent its transmission to others.”