NewsDesk @bactiman63

The president of the Bolívar State Public Health Institute, Manuel Maurera, confirmed this Thursday, March 9, that three cases of diphtheria have been confirmed in that entity, specifically in the Sifontes municipality.


The diagnoses were confirmed by the National Hygiene Institute.

“We immediately activated all the lockdown, immunization and vaccination equipment to significantly increase coverage”, Maurera said.

Diphtheria reappeared in Venezuela in mid-July 2016, after 24 years of being eradicated in the country. The first cases then, as in 2023, were registered in the Sifontes municipality of Bolívar state. Between 2018 and 2019, 939 confirmed cases were registered and reported to PAHO. In 2020 the number of cases decreased to five due to prevention and vaccination efforts.

On February 27, the Immunization Directorate of the Ministry of Health issued an epidemiological alert throughout the country to increase vaccination coverage for preventable diseases, with emphasis on diphtheria.

The Ministry of Health requested that the vaccination scheme for families be increased from children under one year of age to people over 50, as well as pregnant women and health personnel. In the country, the dose against diphtheria is included in the pentavalent vaccine (DTP3), which also protects against tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis and type B meningitis.

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The Ministry of Health also requested that the active search for cases be implemented at the community and institutional level, as well as the monitoring of cases, the implementation of measures in health centers to prevent diseases transmitted by air, and clinical management training for health personnel. health.

Diphtheria is a disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which mainly infects the throat and upper respiratory tract, producing a toxin that affects other organs. It is transmitted through direct physical contact or inhalation of coughing or sneezing secretions from infected individuals. Symptoms include a sore throat, low-grade fever, and swollen glands in the neck.

Diphtheria causes a membrane of dead tissue to build up over the throat and tonsils, making breathing and swallowing difficult. In severe cases, the toxin can cause myocarditis or peripheral neuropathy.