Reduced vaccination coverage in children due to parental failure to get their children vaccinated has led to an increase in the vaccine-preventable disease, diphtheria, in recent years including cases in children, according to a Russian media report (computer translated). 


From the years of 2009 through 2011, Latvia saw a total of 14 diphtheria cases, none were in children. However, since then 35 cases, including a dozen children have contracted the serious bacterial intoxication.

In 2015 to date, Latvia has reported nine cases with four being in children.

In Latvia, vaccinations are fully paid for by the state. Finances not being an issue, the ideology of parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids is being blamed for the increase in diphtheria cases and  a reduction in the overall level of immunization, which degrades the epidemiological situation in the country.

The level of immunization of adults has fallen to 59%, among 14-year-olds the situation is better at 89%: both below what is required for epidemiological safety level of immunization in the country.

Diphtheria is an acute, toxin-mediated disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today

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