Colombia and Venezuela are cooperating to treat the first case of diphtheria registered in Peru in 20 years, while Argentina and Brazil have also offered their help, said the director general of Strategic Interventions in Public Health of Peru, Aldo Lucchetti.
A full dose of diphtheria antitoxin arrived from Colombia on Thursday, a necessary product to continue the treatment of the patient, an unvaccinated 5-year-old girl who is admitted to the Dos de Mayo Hospital in Lima.
The girl began to have heart problems on Thursday, so this antitoxin was immediately sought to treat diphtheria, a remedy based on antibodies that help block the damage caused by the bacteria that cause the disease.
Likewise, the Dos de Mayo Hospital team received through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) a training of specialists from Venezuela in the use and treatment of diphtheria cases with antitoxin.
Lucchetti pointed out that since the minor was diagnosed, she received antibiotic treatment to eliminate the presence of the bacteria.
Shipping in record time
“However, this intervention was necessary to block the action of the toxin. Fortunately, we were able to find the input and carry out the necessary coordination to bring it to the country in record time, “said the Ministry of Health official.
Lucchetti Rodríguez stressed that the arrival of the antitoxin was possible thanks to the coordination of the Ministry of Health and PAHO with neighboring countries.
“Treatment and constant monitoring continues, diphtheria is a complex disease that we had not seen in the country for a long time,” the expert recalled.
Return of unknown origin
This case of diphtheria was detected on Wednesday and it is the first in Peru, where it had been considered eradicated for 20 years.
“We are investigating how the disease reappeared. We already know that the patient and her family have not left Lima, although they have received visits in recent weeks from people from the interior of the country. That is why the alert is national, ”said Deputy Minister of Health Luis Suárez on Wednesday.
Diphtheria is a life-threatening disease if not treated properly. Its main symptoms are sore throat, fever and the appearance of white plaques in the laryngeal system, the same that are growing and can cause suffocation.
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