Hyderabad: Four deaths in Hyderabad district and two in Ranga Reddy due to diphtheria in the last two months have put the health department on alert.
Officials have now decided to vaccinate children between two and seven years.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that causes sore throat and spreads easily.
It is a preventable disease and children can be vaccinated for it. But many are not given the vaccine as the parents are not aware or have not been advised by their doctors.
The recent deaths in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy were of five-seven-years-old children. Dr Padmaja K., in-charge district medical and health officer of Hyderabad, said, “Those who miss the vaccines are children of construction workers, migrants and those who frequently move from one place to another. These children are vulnerable as their vaccination schedules are not followed.”
Doctors stress need for vaccine
Four deaths in Hyderabad district and two in Ranga Reddy due to diphtheria in the last two months have put the health department on alert. Dr Padmaja K., in-charge district medical and health officer of Hyderabad, said, “Children who missed the vaccination are vulnerable. We have decided to have camps from August 24 to 31 so that they can be covered.”
In Ranga Reddy, children of construction workers and labourers are being identified who might have missed the vaccine. The recent death of a 16-year-old boy from Bihar in Yusufguda led authorities to check for vaccination records of migrants.
A senior health official said, “The patient was admitted to Fever Hospital at the last minute when all his airways were choked and the heart muscles had become very weak. The parents said that he had only got a BCG vaccine. The teenage boy died from multi-organ failure. The first few days of fever were completely neglected leading to severe complications.” Experts at Fever Hospital said that though it was a rare case, children missing vaccinations is a common phenomenon.