Alberta Health Services says student at Edmonton elementary school has diptheria

EDMONTON - A case of diphtheria has been confirmed in an Edmonton elementary student.

Alberta Health Services says they will contact those who were in close contact with the student.

It says no other cases have been identified and the risk to the public remains extremely low.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection causing inflammation in the upper respiratory tract and can lead to heart and neurological issues.

It is spread through respiratory secretions and direct skin contact and symptoms include fever, sore throat, and loss of appetite; more severe cases could include upper airway obstruction.

AHS says the vaccine against diphtheria is offered free of charge and children get three doses before the age of one, a booster dose at 18 months and between four and six years of age.

Grade 9 students are offered a dose of the vaccine during routine scheduled immunization rounds, and boosters are recommended in 10-year intervals for adults.

Those that are unsure of their immunization history can call their local health office or Health Link at 811.

(CTV Edmonton)

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