A recent diphtheria outbreak in Central Quang Nam province has been successfully contained with no new cases reported and those who had suffered from the disease recovered.

According to the Department of Preventative Health under the Ministry of Public Health, this is the first outbreak in many decades in the mountainous Phuoc Loc commune of Phuoc Son district, claiming three lives.

The province has zoned off the area and carried out disinfection procedures, intensifying precautionary measures and launching intensive treatments for patients.

The local Health Department teamed up with the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute to organise a vaccination programme for all locals living in the vulnerable locality.

Communication campaigns were arranged to educate residents on diphtheria and basic hygienic practices.

Phuoc Loc commune is home to 23,635 people, 70 percent of whom are Bh’noong ethnic minority members who subsist primarily on nomadic farming and have limited access to health services.

Diphtheria is a dangerous respiratory disease caused by a potent toxin produced by certain strains of the Corynebacterium diphtheria. It is extremely contagious through coughing or sneezing. Risk factors include crowding, poor hygiene and immunisation gaps.

The disease can be treated and cured successfully with antitoxins and antibiotics if begun early enough. Diphtheria can be prevented through vaccinations.

The Ministry of Public Health has advised the entire community to complete the vaccination programme against diphtheria on schedule. Personnel hygiene practices and environmental sanitation efforts are also recommended to effectively prevent the disease.-VNA