Around twenty-five women medical students have been diagnosed with diphtheria in Kalaburagi district of North Karnataka and have raised concerns about the spreading of the contagious bacterial infection.
This is the largest outbreak of diphtheria in the state in 10 years. All the students of the Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences live in the same hostel.
All of them are in the 18-22 age bracket. One of them is believed to have contracted diphtheria after treating an infected patient during an OPD session. The first of the students was diagnosed on 30th August.
Diphtheriais caused by Corynebacterium diphtheria and spreads through coughing and sneezing, saliva or through open sores. Most of the affected students had not taken the booster doses and were not immunised for diphtheria.
All students affected by diphtheria are being treated at a special ward in the district hospital in Kalaburagi.