DIPTHERIA has been reported in an English school.

Parents are being warned to take caution, with health officials urging anyone with symptoms to "seek urgent medical attention".

Specialists from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed to the Sun that one person tested positive for the deadly bug at Wigmore Primary School in Luton.

Dr Sultan Salimee, of the UKHSA East of England, said: “Diphtheria is a contagious bacterial infection that mainly affects the nose and throat.

"Infections of diphtheria are rare in England because most people have been immunised against it.

"The individual concerned has been treated and is recovering well. The risk to the wider public is very low.

“If any close contacts are not fully vaccinated against diphtheria, their vaccinations should be boosted."

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Over the past decade, the number of cases in England has jumped from an average of two to 11 per year, excluding 2020.

It was a major cause of death in the Victorian times but is now relatively rare thanks to routine vaccination.

However, the number of teenagers receiving their booster – given at age 14 – fell by seven per cent per cent last year.

Unvaccinated people are highly susceptible to the bug, which can also cause nasty ulcers on the skin if it's not treated with antibiotics.

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The signs to watch for

Symptoms of diphtheria usually emerge two to five days after becoming infected.

A thick grey-white coating that may cover the back of the throat, nose and tongue is a typical sign of the infection.

It can also cause a high temperature and sore throat.

More severe cases can lead to a characteristic swollen neck and throat, or "bull neck." This can make it hard for the person to breathe properly.

If the disease affects the skin, it can cause pus-filled blisters on the legs, feet and hands. As well as large ulcers surrounded by red, sore-looking skin.

Diphtheria is mostly spread by coughs, sneezing or close contact.

You can, however, also get it from sharing items such as cups, clothing or bedding with an infected person.

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