Robert Jenrick Britain county Kent death reports cover symptoms vaccine infection strain Robert Jenrick Britain county Kent

Three people dead after contracting Victorian-era disease spread through coughs and sneezes

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Three people in Britain have died after contracting a Victorian-era disease which is spread through coughing and sneezing.Diphtheria was found in 87 people across England last year, 10 more than in 2021.

It is thought 72 cases of the Corynebacterium diphtheriae strain were found among asylum seekers, who had arrived in the UK only recently.Last November, an asylum seeker being held at the processing centre in Kent, died from the disease, reports the Mirror.

Eleven more cases were found in people who had "companion animals" and it is believed the disease was spread by contact with pets.The UK Health Security Agency said the risk to the wider public of catching the disease is still very low.

If it is not treated quickly, a highly contagious DIiphtheria infection can be fatal, especially in children.The NHS explains the disease is rare in the UK because babies and children have been routinely vaccinated against it since the 1940s.

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