Sister of boy who died due to suspected diphtheria among five children in quarantine
Last Update: 24/02/2019
JOHOR BAHRU, Feb 24 (Bernama) -- Five children, believed to have been in contact with the two year-old boy who died three days ago suspected due to diphtheria, are in quarantine at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital here after they tested positive for the disease.
Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal said the children, three girls and two boys aged four years and below, included the deceased’s older sister.
"They were among 52 people who underwent screening for diphtheria because they had been in contact with the deceased and the presence of Corynebacterium Diphteria was detected on the samples of their throat tissue,” he told reporters after visiting the children at the hospital here today.
He said the children were admitted to the hospital yesterday and their condition was reported stable.
Three of them, including a girl, are expected to be allowed to return home tomorrow, he added.
Dr Sahruddin said the deceased’s sister, who had never been immunised, and another boy, still required treatment.
He said the deceased’s mother, who is pregnant, was also screened for diphtheria and tested negative for the disease.
According to Dr Sahruddin, two diphtheria cases were reported in the state last year, including the death of a 14-month-old child, while six cases, including one death, have been reported this year in Johor.
He advised parents whose children had yet to be vaccinated against the disease to get the immunisation at any government or private clinics.
Immunisation is a safe and effective way of protecting your children from infection and failure to do so will not only expose them to infections but will also be harmful to others, he added.
Yesterday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a statement, said that a two-year-old boy , who died last Feb 21 in Johor Bahru, was believed to have had diphtheria.
He said the toddler, who had never been immunised since birth, developed fever, cough and swollen tonsils on Feb 16, and was taken to a hospital's emergency unit two days later.
“Unfortunately, the child could not be saved and on Feb 21, he succumbed to severe diphtheria with multi-organ failure,” he said.