In a follow-up to a report last week about the resurgence of the vaccine-preventable disease, diphtheria, in Venezuela’s Bolivar state, local media report some astounding information on how bad the situation has become.


In a Correo del Caroní  report Monday (computer translated),  officials now say that 22 children in three cities have died from diphtheria since it’s reappearance.

To date, it is broken down as follows: 14 in Sifontes municipality, six in Caroni and two in Heres.

The Ministry of Health and the Institute of Public Health expanded the vaccination campaign in schools and health centers in the region to curb the epidemic that Venezuela had eradicated two decades ago.

Where is the diphtheria coming from? Public health officials suspect that that the constant mobilization of Venezuelans to Brazil to buy food, some may have returned with the disease to Sifontes.

In addition, the vaccine coverage in the region is only about 20 percent for children 3 years and younger.