5 Feb 2015

Diphtheria case in Auckland

8:58 pm on 5 February 2015

A single case of diphtheria has been confirmed in Auckland, the first case of the potentially deadly respiratory disease in New Zealand in six years.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service Medical Officer of Health Dr Brad Novak said the patient was diagnosed on Monday and public health officials had been working since then to track down everyone who had had close contact with them.

Dr Novak said the disease was caught early and the person was in good health and being treated with antibiotics in isolation at home.

A further 90 people had been treated with antibiotics as a precaution but no one had become ill.

Dr Novak said there was little risk to the public due to fast action by public health and New Zealand's high rate of immunisation.

The patient was believed to have contracted the disease overseas.

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