Dhaka, Aug 6 (IANS) A Bangladeshi construction worker has died from diphtheria in Singapore, a first such case in 25 years, the Health Ministry announced.

The 21-year-old worker was likely to have been infected in Singapore as he had not travelled out of the country recently, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The last local case of infection was reported in 1992 while the last imported case was in 1996, Channel News Asia quoted the statement as saying.

The Bangladeshi worker had developed symptoms such as fever and swelling of the neck on July 30.

He sought medical treatment at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on August 1 and was immediately isolated and hospitalised, the statement said. He died three days later.

So far, 48 people have been identified for further assessment, the ministry added.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted from one person to another through close contact, through air droplets from coughing or sneezing. It can cause infection of the airway, breathing difficulties and may lead to death in five to 10 per cent of cases.