Health Advisory on Diphtheria

The Situation

There has been a confirmed case of Diphtheria in Singapore. A 21 year-old Bangladeshi construction worker died in Singapore on Friday (Aug 4) after contracting diphtheria.

What is Diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease caused by the Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacterium. It is transmitted from person to person via the respiratory route through close contact (e.g. through air droplets from coughing or sneezing) with an affected case. 

Diphtheria can cause infection in a person’s airways, which may lead to breathing difficulties and death.

Diphtheria is fatal in five to ten percent of cases, with a higher fatality rate in young children.

How is Diphtheria spread?

Diphtheria is spread (transmitted) from person to person, usually through respiratory droplets, like from coughing or sneezing. Rarely, people can get sick from touching open sores (skin lesions) or or by close contact for example clothes or physical objects that have the bacteria on it. 

Information from:

Can Diphtheria be treated?

Diphtheria can  be treated with a combination of medicine and antibiotics. The medicine is used to counteract the toxin produced by the disease, while antibiotics will be given to help clear up the infection.

How can I prevent my loved ones from catching Diphtheria?

Diphtheria can be prevented through vaccination. Vaccination against diphtheria is highly effective in reducing the mortality and morbidity of diphtheria.

The vaccine is known as DTaP, and is offered in all our clinics.

What should I do if I am worried?

Do be assured, the risk of spread of Diphtheria in Singapore is assessed to be low.

If you, your loved ones, or colleagues stay/work in the high risk areas (Jurong and Yishun region where the Diphtheria case was found), you may wish to have a medical assessment by our Healthcare professionals to check for the disease.

Finally, ensure that everyone around you has been vaccinated against this disease.

Contact us today at or 6566 3311 to make an appointment for Diphtheria vaccination/screening.



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