Diphtheria in Hispaniola: Six deaths to date



By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Hispaniola is the second largest island in the Caribbean1 (after Cuba) and is comprised of two countries: Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Image/CIA

To date in the Western hemisphere, or the Americas, Haiti and the Dominican Republic reported all 11 diphtheria cases in the region.

In 2021, between the beginning of the year through mid-February, the Dominican Republic has reported five cases, all fatal and all children, while Haiti has reported 6 cases, including 1 death.

In the Dominican Republic, all five cases had no travel history and no vaccination history. No epidemiological link was identified between these cases.

In Haiti, of the 6 confirmed cases, 3 were reported among 6 to 14-year-olds, 2 among 1 to 5-year-olds, and one among 15-year-olds and older. The death occurred in the 1 to 5-year-old age group.

Neither country meets the 95% target established in the regional immunization action plan.

In 2020, a total of 5 countries reported a total of 80 confirmed cases of diphtheria, including 21 deaths in the Region of the Americas: Brazil (2 cases), the Dominican Republic (3 cases, including 2 deaths), Haiti (66 cases, including 16 deaths), Peru (4 cases, including one death) and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (5 cases, including 2 deaths).

Dominican Republic/CIA

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