By Anal0u De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) reported that diphtheria cases have increased in four regions.
The DOH-Epidemiology Bureau said that the increase in diphtheria cases were seen in Bicol Region, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Soccsksargen had registered the highest increase with 200 percent, from one case in 2017 to three cases this year. It was followed by Bicol region with 167-percent increase, three cases in 2017 to eight cases in 2018; while ARMM (six cases in 2017 to 12 cases in 2018) and Davao Region (three cases in 2017 to six cases this year) both registered a 100-percent increase.
The DOH, meanwhile, noted that diphtheria cases nationwide had decreased. For this year, there were only 147 diphtheria cases as compared to the 168 cases recorded during the previous year.
The health department also noted that the number of deaths also decreased from 41 in 2017 to 34 this year.
The DOH said diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. “It infects the throat and upper airways, and produces a toxin affecting other organs.”
Its symptoms include sore throat, low fever, and swollen glands in the neck.