Diphtheria booster advised

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In October 2003, a man who had been working in a rural village in Haiti returned to Pennsylvania and was admitted to a hospital with a severe sore throat and respiratory distress. He was diagnosed with respiratory diphtheria and died. The clinical efficacy of the diphtheria vaccine is 97%, but the man had never been immunized.

Diphtheria is contracted by inhaling the bacteria directly from an infected person. It can lead to heart failure, paralysis and coma. Even death can occur in as little as a week; the mortality rate for diphtheria can be as high as 20%.

To minimize the risk of diphtheria, all U.S. residents should receive a primary series of diphtheria vaccination and a routine booster every 10 years. The combined tetanus/diphtheria vaccine (Td) can be used for both the primary series in adults and adolescents, with routine booster shots in all people over the age of seven years.

Diphtheria is still active in more than 80 countries. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), it is a serious health problem in Algeria, Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, Burma, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Viet-Nam, Yemen, Albania and all countries formerly in the Soviet Union.

For more info, visit www.nfid.org.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

In October 2003, a man who had been working in a rural village in Haiti returned to Pennsylvania and was admitted to a hospital with a severe sore throat and respiratory distress. He was diagnosed with respiratory diphtheria and died. The clinical efficacy of the diphtheria vaccine is 97%, but the man had never been immunized.

Diphtheria is contracted by inhaling the bacteria directly from an infected person. It can lead to heart failure, paralysis and coma. Even death can occur in as little as a week; the mortality rate for diphtheria can be as high as 20%.

To minimize the risk of diphtheria, all U.S. residents should receive a primary series of diphtheria vaccination and a routine booster every 10 years. The combined tetanus/diphtheria vaccine (Td) can be used for both the primary series in adults and adolescents, with routine booster shots in all people over the age of seven years.

Diphtheria is still active in more than 80 countries. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), it is a serious health problem in Algeria, Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, Burma, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Viet-Nam, Yemen, Albania and all countries formerly in the Soviet Union.

For more info, visit www.nfid.org.