Diphtheria boy loses battle

THE six-year-old boy from Olot who had been battling diphtheria has sadly lost the fight.
Twenty-five days after the diagnosis was reached at the intensive care unit at Vall d’Hebron hospital the young boy, who had not been vaccinated against the virus, died due to the damage it had caused to his vital organs.
Although doctors had been treating him with antibiotics and antitoxins flown in from Russia to try and combat the illness, it had badly affected his kidneys, lungs and heart and he was being kept alive by machines at the Barcelona hospital, Health Minister Alfonso Alonso had reported after visiting the family.
The Public Health authorities are still investigating to track down the origin of the virus. There are another 10 people who have been found to be carrying the bacteria but they had not developed the illness as they had been vaccinated against it. All 10 are being treated with antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria and are under quarantine to avoid spreading the virus to anyone who has not been vaccinated.
This was the first case of diphtheria in Spain for almost three decades. Vaccination against the infectious condition began in 1945 and went from 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to almost none in a few years.
The Ministry of Health recorded the last known case in 1987, while in Cataluña none had been diagnosed for 32 years.

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