In 2017, Venezuela has reported 609 probable cases of diphtheria through the end of November. In addition to the 324 cases which occurred since the summer to the end of 2016, the South American country has recorded 933 cases.
The outbreak began in July 2016 in Sifontes municipality, Bolívar state and has since spread to 21 other states in the country.
In 2017, the country has reported a more than 20 percent fatality rate.
227 cases were laboratory confirmed (by isolation or polymerase chain reaction).
Among the confirmed cases (198 cases), 14% have a history of vaccination and 56% are female. The most affected individuals are those aged 11 or older, which accounted for 72% of the confirmed cases.
The Venezuela Ministry of People’s Power for Health is intensifying vaccination activities in municipalities with cases and a vaccination campaign is planned to begin in early 2018. All federal entities have been alerted and epidemiological surveillance, active case search, follow-up of contacts, diagnostic capacity are being strengthened.
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