By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Brazil became the third country in the Americas to confirm a case of diphtheria in 2021. According to the World Health Organization, the case is a 26-year-old male who had symptom onset on 24 April 2021.
The case had an incomplete vaccination schedule of a single dose received on 26 July 2011, had no travel history, and is a resident of Alta Floresta Municipality in the state of Mato Grosso.
During the field investigation and contact follow-up, no other cases were identified among the contacts.
Brazil saw 59 suspected and five confirmed diphtheria cases in 2019-2020, including no deaths.
In addition to Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Haiti have reported confirmed diphtheria cases in 2021 with 13 confirmed cases/10 deaths and 12 confirmed cases/2 deaths, respectively.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says in recent years and mainly during the pandemic due to COVID-19, Latin America has experienced a decline in coverage of the third dose of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTP3) among infants less than 1-year-old. Additionally, vaccination among the younger population and adults, especially men, continues to be very low. Therefore, the occurrence of confirmed cases is considered a risk for the rest of the countries and territories in the Region of the Americas.
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