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Diphtheria in Yemen (Update 1)

03 Jan 2018

On 22 December 2017 the World Health Organisation (WHO) Link reported  333 suspected cases of diphtheria (including 35 deaths) in Yemen from 13 August to 21 december 2017. Cases are reported from 20 Governorates.

Previous reports said most cases were identified in Ibb Governorate with the rest being reported from Abyan, Aden, Aljawf, Ameran, Dhamar, Hajjah, Mareb, Sadaah and Taiz.

Advice for travellers

Respiratory infections are often difficult to prevent but following basic personal hygiene etiquette when coughing and sneezing can help. Avoiding overcrowded areas such as busy markets and local transport may also reduce risk of exposure but may not always be practical.

A combination vaccine called Revaxis is available to protect adults against diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Children normally receive these vaccinations as part of the national schedule. Travellers should ensure that they have had a primary course of vaccine and receive a booster every 10 years if they are travelling to an area where diphtheria, tetanus or polio are considered high risk.