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Diphtheria in Yemen (Update 3)

13 Mar 2018

According to the World Health Organisation via media  the diphtheria outbreak in Yemen in continuing. From August 2017 to 12 March 2018, 1294 suspected cases of diptheria (including 73 deaths) have been recorded in 20 of the country's 23 provinces. Ibb and al-Hodeidah provinces have been particularly affected.

Advice for 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.