Diphtheria is a disease that is being spread, reported or discussed due to the Extraordinary Events (KLB) that occur in East Java and also spread in other areas such as Pontianak and Banjarmasin. The case of diphtheria is reported to have been found in 20 provinces in Indonesia. The emergence of the disease indicates that the diphtheria immunization program that has been carried out by the government has not met the target. Prevention of diphtheria through immunization programs is considered important to avoid diphtheria in children which can be fatal because the toxins produced from germs that cause diphtheria.
What is diphtheria?
Diphtheria is a disease caused by the Corynebacterium diphteriae bacteria. These bacteria produce toxins that can later expand throughout the body. The bacterial toxin can cause damage to local tissue and cause a membrane that can clog the airway. In addition, these toxins can also circulate in the bloodstream and result in various other complications such as myocarditis (inflammation of one layer of the heart) and blood disorders such as thrombocytopenia (decreased platelet count).
Symptoms and signs of diphtheria include fever (body temperature around 38 degrees Celsius), the appearance of a membrane in the throat that is grayish white and easily bleeds when released, and pain when swallowing. These symptoms can be accompanied by enlarged neck lymph nodes and swelling of the soft tissue of the neck called the bullneck. In addition, children can find shortness of breath accompanied by snoring sounds.
This disease can be transmitted through splashes of fluid from the respiratory tract or direct contact with fluid coming out of the respiratory tract for example when someone sneezes or coughs. Transmission through open wounds on the skin can also occur, but is less common.
Provision of diphtheria immunization
Diphtheria immunization is given by injection. This immunization is recommended since the baby. DTP immunization (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) is an immunization given to babies three times, namely at ages 2, 3, and 4 months. In addition, repeat immunization was carried out in the form of booster twice, at the age of 18 months and 5 years.
The government also recommends giving immunizations for elementary school children (SD) through the School Children Immunization Month (BIAS) program. Elementary school or grade 1 children are required to get one DT immunization while elementary school children or class 2 and 5 are required to get Td immunization. Furthermore, repeat immunizations are carried out every 10 years, including for adults.
Where can I get diphtheria immunization?
In order to prevent further spread of diphtheria, the government provides free diphtheria immunization for children aged one to 19 years starting in December 2017 at schools and various other health facilities such as Puskesmas and Posyandu. Immediately do immunizations to prevent your child from diphtheria.
Why is immunization compulsory?
You may still hesitate to get diphtheria immunization. In fact, diphtheria is one type of disease that can be prevented and controlled. The trick is to get a vaccine (immunization) diphtheria.
Besides increasing a child's immunity to diphtheria, immunization can also prevent the spread of this disease further. Therefore, it is important for each child to get diphtheria immunization.
Don't worry, this immunization has been declared safe for children and adults. Side effects are very rare, and are usually mild such as fever. This is natural because the body will react to the vaccine given.
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