Diphtheria Outbreak Hits South Africa’s Pollsmoor Prison | General News

Diphtheria Outbreak Hits South Africa’s Pollsmoor Prison | General News

A diphtheria outbreak has been declared at South Africa’s Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison following the death of a 19-year-old inmate.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the male inmate, who contracted the disease last month, died on Sunday.

Eight more inmates, aged 18 to 23, are in isolation after testing positive for the disease.

Two staff members who displayed symptoms are awaiting their results, Dr Phaahla added.

He said that a vaccination drive in the affected section of the prison is underway.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable but highly contagious bacterial disease that affects the nose and throat and also causes skin ulcers.

It is spread by coughs and sneezes or through close contact with an infected person, and in serious cases can be fatal.

South Africa has recorded sporadic diphtheria cases since it started immunising against the disease in the 1950s, according to the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Nigeria is currently battling one of its worst diphtheria outbreaks, which has killed more than 600 people and infected over 14,000.

Source: BBC



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