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Man dies from extremely rare infectious disease. QLD Australia.

A YOUNG Queensland man has died after contracting diphtheria. A highly contagious illness that rarely occurs in Australia.

The man, 27, from Cairns, was flown to the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane on January 24.

Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service confirmed on Thursday the man had died.

Diphtheria is caused by a bacterium, Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The actual disease is caused when the bacteria release a toxin, or poison, into a person’s body. Diphtheria bacteria live in the mouth, throat, and nose of an infected person and can be passed to other persons by coughing or sneezing.

 

 

Health officials last month were at a loss as to how the man contracted the contagious and potentially life-threatening illness.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said the man hadn’t done any recent international travel.

It is understood he wasn’t vaccinated against diphtheria, and health officials have stressed the importance of being immunised.

Qld Australia.Brisbane mothers line up to have their children immunised against diphtheria in 1941.

Diphtheria is a very contagious and potentially deadly infection caused by a toxin (poison) produced by bacteria.

There are four different types of diphtheria:

1…• Classical respiratory diphtheria

2…• Laryngeal diphtheria

3…• Nasal diphtheria and

4…• Cutaneous diphtheria (skin lesions).

It is not known what type the Queensland patient is suffering from.

Symptoms generally begin two to five days after exposure to the bacteria but at times can appear up to 10 days after exposure. Symptoms will depend on the type of diphtheria infection. Experts say symptoms range from sore throats and mucus, to ulcers on limbs. Diphtheria results primarily in swelling in the nose, throat and windpipe, which can cause breathing difficulties.

It is spread by direct contact with an infected person, or through contaminated objects. Some pics below

“Bull neck” appearance of diphtheritic cervical lymphadenopathy

10-year-old child unfortunately has severe diphtheria

This child has “bullneck diphtheria”

Pharyngeal diphtheria and membranes covering the tonsils and uvula

Diphtheria pneumonia (hemorrhagic) and bronchiolar membranes

A huge diphtheria skin lesion on the leg

Close-up image of a diphtheria skin lesion

Diphtheria skin lesion on a mans neck

 Indonesian child with diphtheria kept alive via a throat operation

Can diphtheria be treated?
Doctors achieve this by initially giving small doses of the antitoxin and then gradually increasing the dosage. Antibiotics. Diphtheria is also treated with antibiotics, such as penicillin or erythromycin. Antibiotics help kill bacteria in the body, clearing up infections.Dec 8, 2016

The Department of Health members urgently tried to find locals that may have come into contact with the man after he contracted the illness.

Henry Sapiecha

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