Case of highly-contagious deadly Victorian disease found at UK school as parents warned | UK | News

December 12, 2023
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A case of a highly-contagious deadly Victorian disease has been detected at a school in the UK.

Health officials have confirmed that one person has tested positive for diptheria at a school in Luton.

The deadly bacterial infection was detected at the town’s Wigmore Primary School with parents being urged to take caution, with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) East of England currently looking into the case.

Diptheria is very rare in the UK as a vaccine given to children prevents it from being contracted and transmitted.

The UKHSA is said to be working with its national and local partners to ensure the public is protected from the disease.

It said it “conducted a risk assessment” and close contacts of the case had been identified and said that vaccination and advice would be given to prevent the spread of the infection.

According to the health experts the risk to the wider public is low.

In a letter school letter reported on by The Sun, Wigmore Primary School told parents that the infected person “has been on treatment and is recovering well”.

The letter said that there was a “low” risk to children but that it was sending out advice as a precaution.

Anyone who thinks they may have contracted the disease is urged to “seek urgent medical attention”.

Dr Sultan Salimee, consultant in communicable disease control at UKHSA East of England, said: “Diphtheria is a contagious bacterial infection that mainly affects the nose and throat. Infections of diphtheria are rare in England because most people have been immunised against it.

“The individual concerned has been treated and is recovering well. The risk to the wider public is very low.

“If any close contacts are not fully vaccinated against diphtheria, their vaccinations should be boosted. Completing the course of vaccinations remains the most effective way for people to protect themselves against becoming ill with diphtheria.”

Diptheria cases in the UK have slowly risen over the past decade from an average of two to 11 per year, excluding 2020, due to fewer youngsters receiving the vaccine.



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