Child vaccinated for diphtheria gets diphtheria, risks spreading it to classmates


A north Edmonton, Canada mother is promising that although her 10-year-old son has potentially exposed his elementary to diphtheria, her son is up to date on all of his vaccinations. 


Rebecca Shewchuk “doesn’t know exactly how her son contracted the disease, but said he has battled severe eczema since he was five months old, and that makes him more susceptible to certain illnesses.” 1

“Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that impacts the nose, throat and skin, and can cause severe breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis and even death. About one in 10 people who get diphtheria die…

[it]can be easily spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and also through direct contact with an infected person.”2

Shewchuk and her two sons have been quarantined in their home since Friday when they learned the 10-year-old had contracted the disease.


On Monday, a letter was sent out to families of students at Evansdale School, stating that no other cases of diphtheria had been identified and that the public risk was low. However, those that may have been exposed were contacted directly.


The disease is very uncommon in Canada and while there is a vaccine for it, the vaccine is not 100 percent effective.

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Sources and References

  1. Global News, November 7, 2017.
  2. Global News, November 7, 2017.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.