Boy Who Died From Diphtheria In Sandakan Not Malaysian

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SANDAKAN – A boy who died from diphtheria here last July 26 is not a Malaysian citizen, Sabah Health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said today.

She said the nine-year-old boy, who was down with a fever, cough, flu and sore throat since July 18, was treated at the Duchess of Kent Hospital here on July 21.

The patient was given diphtheria antitoxin and antibiotic, as well as went through the throat swab culture and was found positive for Corynebacterium Diphtheriae bacteria, she said in a statement today.

She said checks on the boy also found that his immunisation status was incomplete.

She said two of the 18 contacts staying with the boy showed minor symptoms and had been treated, and the remaining given prophylaxis treatment.

Dr Rundi said seven children staying in the same house had received complete immunisation against diphtheria, while the immunisation status of the remaining 11 people in the house, including the boy’s parents was being investigated.

She said the disease could be prevented by having the complete five-immunisations and advised parents to check on the immunisation status of their children, especially those below the age of seven years .

Meanwhile, the Sandakan Health Office has opened a Diphteria Outbreak Operations Room since last Friday which is in operation from 8am to 7pm. -BERNAMA