A case of diphtheria has been confirmed in an Evansdale elementary student.

As a precautionary measure, Alberta Health Services said they will be contacting those that were in close contact with the student. They said no other cases have been identified and the risk to the public remains extremely low.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection causing inflammation in the upper respiratory tract and can lead to heart and neurological issues. It is spread through respiratory secretions and direct skin contact. The symptoms include fever, sore throat, and loss of appetite. More severe cases could include upper airway obstruction.

In Alberta, the diphtheria vaccine is offered free of charge through the immunization program.  Adequate immunization for children is three doses of the vaccine before one year of age, and booster doses at 18 months and between four and six years of age said Alberta Health.

Grade nine students will also be offered a dose of the vaccine during routine scheduled immunization rounds, and boosters are recommended in ten year intervals for adults.

Those that are unsure of their immunization history can call their local health office or Health Link at 811.