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Two cases of lethal diphtheria have been detected in the Lothian region



  Vaccination against diphtheria Copyright
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Diphtheria vaccination programs protect most people in the UK

Two people are being treated in Scotland for potentially lethal diphtheria infection.

NHS Lothian confirmed that the two cases were related and both patients were believed to be in hospital in Edinburgh.

The Medical Council stated that the participants had recently returned from abroad.

Public health experts have said that the likelihood of additional cases is very low since most people have been protected from childhood immunization.

In Lothian, 98% of children are vaccinated against diphtheria at 24 months of age.

Allison McCallum, Director of Public Health for NHS Lothian, states: “All close contacts of these patients have been identified, contacted and followed in accordance with nationally agreed guidelines.

"We encourage people traveling abroad to visit travel-friendly places where they can access information on how to be safe and healthy abroad, as well as specific health tips for the destination."


What is diphtheria? ?

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Diphtheria infection spreads through coughing and sneezing and can be potentially fatal

Diphtheria is a highly contagious and potentially fatal infection that can affect the nose and throat, and sometimes the skin.

This can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure and paralysis.

The infection is spread by coughing and sneezing or by sharing items such as glasses, cutlery, clothes or bedding with an infected person.

rare in the United Kingdom as babies and children are routinely vaccinated against it.

There is little risk of contracting the disease while traveling in some parts of the world.

Source: NHS


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