Diphtheria update

The latest PAHO Epidemiological Update on diphtheria reveals a recent drop in the incidence in Haiti which it says may be due to late reporting. Two municipalities in Nord department have the highest rates of infection (Acul du Nord and Trou du Nord). The number of suspected cases in Venezuela’s almost three year-long outbreak is now 2,726 with 164 of those reported this year (including 10 deaths). PAHO advice: ‘it is recommended that national authorities remind travelers going to areas with diphtheria outbreaks to be properly vaccinated prior to travel in accordance with the national vaccination scheme established in each country. If more than five years have passed since their last dose, a booster dose is recommended.’

Advice for travellers

Spread by coughing and sneezing or by direct contact with wounds or items soiled by infected persons, diphtheria is one of the infectious diseases prevented through routine childhood vaccination. It is also a component in the vaccine given to pregnant women for the prevention of pertussis. Read more on diphtheria.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.