British lab confirms diphtheria in 8-year-old’s death in Athens

British lab confirms diphtheria in 8-year-old’s death in Athens

A laboratory in the United Kingdom has confirmed Greek concerns that an 8-year-old boy who died last week at the Athens General Children’s Hospital had contracted diphtheria.

According to an announcement from the National Organization for Public Health, the Public Health England agency confirmed the presence of the disease, which was eradicated in Greece almost three decades ago.

The child was admitted to hospital on November 22 with symptoms of acute laryngitis and severe respiratory distress, and his deteriorating condition prompted doctors to place him in intensive care. He died five days later of acute respiratory infection, pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary edema.

Despite initial reports that he was only partially vaccinated against diphtheria, sources from the National Health Organization (EODY) last week said he had received all five necessary shots.

The 8-year-old had been in the care of a foster family for three years.

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