There are no cases of diphtheria in the East of England, health chiefs have confirmed, despite concerns earlier in the month asylum seekers rehomed in Norwich may have been carrying the infection.

Nationwide there are now more than 70 suspected cases of the potentially-deadly respiratory infection, among those who have recently been moved from the overcrowded Manston processing facility in Kent.

But officials from the UK Health Security Agency have confirmed that the region remains free of the disease, while cases are suspected in London, Manchester, Kent and the South West.

Public health officials are concerned that failures to test or treat migrants before moving them into hotels including in Wisbech, Norwich and Great Yarmouth was reckless.

In the UK babies are vaccinated against diphtheria within the first four months of their life, but any unvaccinated people may be at risk.

Trish Mannes of UKSHA said: “The risk of diphtheria to the wider public remains very low, due to high uptake of the diphtheria vaccine in this country, and because the infection is typically passed on through close, prolonged contact with a case."