MIRANSHAH, 20 August: At least three people including two children died due to diphtheria, as the disease broke out in different parts of the North Waziristan agency, locals said here on Saturday.

According to the local people, a large number of people in Khozai and Plangzai areas have been affected by the disease.

“Initially, the infected person feels throat infection and when it gets severe, the person stops talking. It is followed by high temperature which ultimately leads to death,” a local tribesman said, adding these people had recently returned to their homes after remaining TDPs for a long time.

According to doctors and health experts diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection usually affecting the mucous membranes of nose and throat. “It causes a sore throat, fever, swollen glands and weakness. Sometimes it may block the airway in the throat which causes breathing problem,” a doctor explained.

Local residents complained that despite the diseases claimed three lives in a short span of time, the government and the health department did not move. They said no medical teams had been sent to the area to vaccinate the people and that was why most of the patients were being shifted to Peshawar for treatment.

People have demanded of the government to send health teams to the area and provide basic health facilities to them to stop the disease from further spreading.

The officials of the agency health department have kept a criminal silence over the issue. However, doctors in Bannu when contacted for their opinion, they suggested that patients should take antibiotics like klaricid, erythrocin or klaritek.

According to doctors diphtheria may spread from the infected person to other health people, so they advised that the patient should be kept in isolation and should not mix with other healthy members of the family.