On 21 February, a two-year-old baby succumbed to a severe diphtheria infection in Johor Bahru as the child did not receive any vaccination since birth. Later on, five more children in Johor tested positive for diphtheria infection and it was confirmed by state Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman, Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
According to Harian Metro, all the five kids under four years old were among the 52 individuals that have come into contact with the deceased and they were identified after a screening test was done by Johor Health Ministry.
“They were all admitted to Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) and placed under isolation ward after they were found to have developed symptoms of the disease,” Dr Sahruddin said.
As of now, all the kids infected have been given antibiotics for 14 days and if the medicine is proven to be effective, three patients, two girls and one boy, will be allowed to go home. “That’s because these kids have been receiving treatment since 19 February and after 48 hours of treatment, the disease is no longer a threat to the population,” he said.
However, the deceased’s elder sister and another kid are still under quarantine. It was understood that out of all the five kids, only the deceased’s sister was not vaccinated. The rest of the patients were tested positive because they studied in the same place and live in close proximity.
He added that this disease can be spread through saliva and sweat which was why the authorities have performed screening on anyone who has come into contact with the patients including visitors, clinic and hospital staff, and students at the kindergarten.
We pray for the patients’ speedy recovery and hopefully, this incident will be taken seriously for all ignorant parents who are against vaccination.
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