Chennai: The Department of Public Health has alerted the State to monitor diphtheria cases. While Tamilnadu has witnessed several cases of dengue fever in the past years, this time it is diphtheria.
The department has ordered doctors to prescribe a particular antibiotic for children who consult with sore throat and fever.
The department further is cautious about the condition as the neighbouring States witnessed diphtheria outbreak and a mass vaccination programme is being carried out.
Diphtheria is an infection caused by Corynebacterium diphtheria and is disseminated when an infected person coughs or sneezes or the bacteria enters through open wounds. A few of the signs include body weakness, sore throat, fever, swollen glands in neck and blocked airway, paralysis, vital organs like hearts, nerves, lungs and kidneys getting affected due to toxins.
Children are vaccinated with pentavalent vaccine during 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 months. Further, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine is given between 16 and 24 months and booster at five years. Tetanus, diphtheria (TD) vaccine is given to children in class 5 and 10 and for pregnant women.
So, if you see your child down with fever and sore throat, you know you have to rush to the doctor.