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Eight classmates of diphtheria boy 'are carriers'
09 June 2015 @ 10:35

EIGHT classmates of the boy hospitalised in Barcelona with diphtheria are carriers of the disease, tests have recently confirmed.

All of them are safe and will not develop the potentially-fatal respiratory condition, because they have been vaccinated, but they are at risk of passing it on to anyone who has not been inoculated.

It is thought one of them could have passed the disease to the little boy in the Vall d'Hebron hospital - they would not have caught it from him, because of having been immunised, but the fact they are carriers means anyone who has not had the injection could easily catch it from them.

They are currently being treated with penicillin.

Regional health authorities have tested 57 children who have been in contact with the young patient, whose condition is described as 'serious but stable', and 49 of them were free of the virus.

The six-year-old who is in intensive care lives in Olot (Girona province) in the administrative district or county of Garrotxa, where an estimated 3% of the population has not been vaccinated against diphtheria.

He is being treated with drugs imported from France and Russia, since Spain has not seen a single case of diphtheria for 28 years, and nobody in Catalunya has been diagnosed for 32 years, meaning the medication is not held in stock in Spain.

Staff say the little boy did not respond to treatment until he had been in hospital for three days, but the drugs are now beginning to take effect - although his condition remains serious.


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