Diphtheria outbreak reported in Venezuela

An outbreak of diphtheria involving 13 children has been reported in the municipality of Sifontes. This is the first report of this disease since the last case occurred 24 years ago. No deaths have been reported. Immunization programs are being implemented to control the spread of this infection.

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Advice For Travellers

The reemergence of this infection is blamed on the lack of resources in the current economic crisis to maintain immunization levels in the population. However, the risk for the general traveller is low. Travellers are reminded that outbreaks of the highly contagious diphtheria can occur almost anywhere in the world at any time. Travellers can reduce their risk of exposure to the highly contagious diphtheria by ensuring that their childhood vaccinations, including diphtheria (DPT), are up-to-date prior to travelling.