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30 Dec 2018 | 04:34 AM UTC

Haiti: Diphtheria outbreak continues as of mid-December

Haiti News Alert

Diphtheria outbreak continues nationwide; at least 362 cases reported as of mid-December

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/28/2018, 12:00 AM until 1/7/2019, 11:59 PM (America/Port-au-Prince). COUNTRY/REGION Haiti


An outbreak of diphtheria, ongoing in Haiti since late 2014, has continued as of mid-December 2018. Health officials have reported 362 cases, including 96 confirmed cases and 28 deaths, between January and mid-December. The most affected areas include Artibonite, Nord-Est, and Nord departments.


Diphtheria is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria, which primarily infects the throat and upper airways and produces a toxin affecting other organs. The illness has an acute onset and the main characteristics are sore throat, low-grade fever, and swollen glands in the neck; the toxin may, in severe cases, cause myocarditis or peripheral neuropathy. The disease is spread through direct physical human contact or from breathing in the aerosolized secretions from coughs or sneezes of infected individuals.


Individuals considering travel to Haiti are advised to confirm vaccinations are up to date and to keep abreast of the situation.


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