Kerala

Adult diphtheria case reported at MCH

Patient is a migrant labourer working in Tamil Nadu

A case of adult diphtheria has been reported in the district, the patient being a migrant labourer working in Marthandam in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

The 20-year-old patient, a native of Assam, came to the ENT casualty at the Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, on February 11 complaining of sore throat and difficulty in swallowing food.

He was immediately hospitalised as all clinical signs pointed to diphtheria. His illness was also severe. Throat swab samples later confirmed the diagnosis. He has been kept in isolation as diphtheria is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets.

He is at present being treated with antibiotics as well as diphtheria antitoxin at the hospital.

Disease complications

The spectrum of disease complications is quite wide, and the patient can develop myocarditis and neurological issues.

In this instance, the patient had developed palatal palsy by the time he sought treatment at the Medical College Hospital.

However, he is recovering well, sources said.

The district health administration said the case had been reported to Tamil Nadu as the patient resided at a labour camp at Marthandam.

Meanwhile, doctors at the MCH said they were having a tough time trying to make the patient understand that he was contagious and had to remain in isolation.

“His friends and companion keep trying to give us the slip and go out, apparently to buy food. We are now providing them free food so that they will stay in,” MCH sources said

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:07:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/adult-diphtheria-case-reported-at-mch/article30832804.ece

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