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Jakarta Post

Diphtheria panic and possible next success story

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 21, 2017   /  11:58 am
Diphtheria panic and possible next success story Stay health! A baby cries as a health worker administers an anti-diphtheria vaccine at a clinic in Cibinong, Bogor regency, West Java, on Dec.5. (Antara/Yulius Satria Wijaya)

Almost a century has passed since the invention of the diphtheria vaccine in 1923, but unfortunately, the world is still not free from the disease, which was once called the “plague among children.” Known in the past as one of the most feared childhood diseases, diphtheria is transmitted through close physical contact and respiratory droplets of the Corynebacterium diphtheria bacteria. In 5 to 10 percent of cases, the disease can lead to death. With swift action and appropriate antibiotics and antitoxins, diphtheria is treatable, but most importantly preventable. The diphtheria vaccine is a bacterial toxoid, meaning it contains inactivated toxins of the bacteria. It is usually administered in the form of DPT, a combined vaccine that also prevents pertussis and tetanus and contains a tetanus toxoid and killed cells of the pertussis bacteria. The World Health Organizat...

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