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Skin Infections: Cutaneous Diphtheria

With an increasing number of people traveling abroad, there is a need for doctors and travelers to be attentive to uncommon and frequently confounding skin diseases. A young girl aged five years was taken to the emergency unit at Evelina Children’s infirmary in London since she had itchy, unpleasant sores on her legs. The girl had just resumed a journey to the Republic of Sierra Leone with the lesions emerging after about 3 weeks of her stay in the place and becoming bigger and ulcerated (Brody, 2019). After diagnosis, the girl was found to have cutaneous diphtheria, which is a skin infection that is seldom identified in developed nations, such as the US and UK, where children are given vaccines to protect them. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established in its March weekly publication that the rate of the exceedingly contagious infection had risen by more than ten times. From an average of about 3 cases per year between 1998 and 2011, it grew to 33 occurrences from 2012 to 2017. Moreover, the CDC affirmed the reported degree of incidences underrates the exact level of infection.

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Although most of the reported cases were limited to the skin, it may be a basis for deadly respiratory problems in individuals who have not been effectively vaccinated against diphtheria. Some forms of skin infections may be spread through insect bites, and this risk can often be highly controlled with the utilization of insecticides and repellants that safeguard against numerous disease transmitters (Brody, 2019). Additionally, it might be beneficial to either buy pre-sterilized wear or apply permethrin to a person’s clothing, encompassing socks, knickers, tents, and gumboots. Such protection will be effective through several piles of washing. To avoid travel-associated skin infections, it would also be helpful not to touch pets or feed and handle domestic, stray, and wild animals.


Brody, J. (2019). When travelers bring skin infections back as souvenirs. The New York Times. Web.

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