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Two babies, eight and eleven months, have died in less than a 24 hour period in the pediatric emergency of the University Hospital “Dr. Manuel Núñez Tovar” (Humnt) due to diphtheria, according to a Efecto Cocuyo report (computer translated).

Corynebacterium diphtheriae/CDC
Corynebacterium diphtheriae/CDC

According to the head of pediatric services at the medical center, Yacirka Vásquez, a third child was being held in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for the same illness.

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Maturín is the capital of the Venezuelan state of Monagas. According to the latest epidemiological bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), 26 suspected cases of diphtheria were recorded in Monagas.

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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%.