More than 200 diphtheria cases have been reported in the Americas year-to-date, with Venezuela and Haiti accounting for all but one, according to UN health officials.
Since July 2016, Venezuela has seen 447 suspected diphtheria cases (324 in 2016 and 123 in 2017), of which 51 were laboratory confirmed, including 7 deaths [Anzoátegui (2 fatal cases), Bolívar (1 fatal case), Monagas (3 fatal cases), and Sucre (1 fatal case)]; the cumulative case fatality rate among confirmed cases is 20%.
With regard to the vaccination status of the confirmed cases, 78% had an incomplete schedule, 15% were not vaccinated, and for 7% the vaccination status is unknown.
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In Haiti, a total of 72 probable diphtheria cases were reported in 2017 to date. Of the total cases, 22 were laboratory confirmed, including 3 deaths (case fatality rate of 13.6 % among confirmed cases). Vaccination status is unknown for 54.5% of the confirmed cases, 18.2% were vaccinated, and 27.3% were not vaccinated. The confirmed cases come from four departments: Artibonite, Centre, Ouest, and Sud Est.
One case was reported in confirmed in the state of Roraima, Brazil; however, it was likely contracted in Venezuela.
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