“I’ve always been on top of that, I’m a firm believer in immunizations,” Rebecca Shewchuk said on Tuesday, after being told that her 10-year-old child came down with diphtheria and potentially exposed his elementary school classmates to the illness. Her son attends Evansdale Elementary School in north Edmonton, but as of now, he’s confined to his home due to the fear he may further expose people to the illness.
A letter was sent out to all parents with children in the Evansdale School.
“We are working closely with AHS and following their advice and direction on this matter, to ensure that we do everything we can to keep our students and staff healthy,” Edmonton Public Schools said in an email on Tuesday morning.
Families of students who potentially had more involved contact with the child were given special contact by the school, hoping to stop the spread of diphtheria.
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Diphtheria tends to spread when infected persons cough or sneeze. Again, this child had been vaccinated according to his mother. The illness can affect skin, throat, nose, and inhibit the ability of the infected person to breath normally. It can result in death.
“He’s doing OK. We’ve been through sicknesses before, infections and whatnot,” Shewchuk told Global News on Monday. “He’s trying to be in good spirits. He’s trying to be strong.”
Dr. Chris Sikora with AHS said that he feels currently, no other students are at risk.
Connolly said her initial reactions were shock, anger, and confusion.
“The only thing I knew about diphtheria was that he’d had the immunizations. I didn’t know what it was or what could happen. I didn’t even think we had it in this day and age.”
Original source on Global News.