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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Diphtheria in Yemen (Update 2)

20 Feb 2018

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on 10 February 2018 that probable diphtheria cases in Yemen have reached a total of 1032 (including 64 deaths). The most affected governorates are Ibb (407) and Al Hudaydah (133). Children under the age of 5 years represent 30% of probable cases and 47% of deaths.

Advice for travellers

  • Advice to Travellers

    Ensure the British Vaccination Schedule is complete including booster doses as teenagers.

    Travellers should be aware of:

    • Persistence of disease in many regions of the world to which unvaccinated individuals are susceptible.
    • Waning immunity from diphtheria vaccine with increasing age.
    • Ten-yearly boosters of vaccine should be given for travel to endemic areas particularly where individuals will be mixing with the local population (e.g. health workers, teachers, volunteers).
    • Aid workers travelling to regions with confirmed diphtheria outbreaks, who are thus likely to be exposed to infection, should be given a booster dose of a diphtheria-containing vaccine if they have not had one in the last 12 months. 

    For futher information see Diphtheria.