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Peru reports diphtheria outbreak under control

Several cases of diphtheria set off alarms in Peru; now the authorities say they have everything under control.


The government of Peru this Friday downplayed the health alert caused by the first cases of diphtheria detected in 20 years and that caused death of two people, indicating that it was a minor outbreak already located and controlled.

So far the investigation and control allows us to say that it has not been identified no additional cases to the family outbreak, “said Deputy Minister of Health, Luis Ognio, at a press conference.

Only five cases are officially known, two of they mortal, according to public information.

The diphtheria alerts They ignited on October 27, when the first case of diphtheria in 20 years was detected in Lima amid the devastating pandemic of the new coronavirus.

It was a 5-year-old girl, without a complete vaccine dose, who died days later from a cardiac complication derived from diphtheria treatment.

The Ministry of Health then vaccinated 7,000 people against this disease in the area where the minor lived.

We hope that with the vaccination of the 7,000 people, the outbreak that appeared in La Victoria will be contained, “the district of Lima where the victim lived, added the vice minister.

Respect to the second fatal case On Wednesday, also in Lima, a 69-year-old woman, the health authorities qualified it and urged the population to calm down, ruling out infections and pointing out that it did not produce toxins.

There is no reason to generate a national alarm nor is it necessary to do a specific vaccination day for diphtheria at this time, “added Suárez.

The Vice Minister of Health He said that the current epidemiological alert “means that all the country’s health services must be vigilant and so far no new cases have been identified.”

Peru is planning this weekend a double vaccination day against five diseases, to resume the campaigns suspended by the pandemic. Vaccines to be inoculated include diphtheria and influenza.

Almost three months ago the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) had warned that the covid-19 pandemic had a “devastating impact” on health care in Latin America and the Caribbean, and that there was a measles outbreak in Brazil and cases diphtheria in Haiti and Venezuela.

Diphtheria mainly affects the pharynx and can be fatal in 10% of patients. It is an acute disease that, like the coronavirus, is transmitted mainly by secretions of infected people. It is caused by the Klebs-Löffler bacillus (Corynebacterium diphtheriae).

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