Haiti’s climbing diphtheria rates over the past four years have been attributed to better surveillance systems - in 2018 there were 373 probable cases (and 14 deaths), more than 16 times the 2014 total. Data from Venezuela reveals the scale of that outbreak, with 1,102 suspected diphtheria infections last year (with 270 deaths) and a further 46 to date in 2019 – all age groups were affected. Read the PAHO report here.
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.