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Mauritania - Diphtheria outbreak 2023

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  • Mauritania - Diphtheria outbreak 2023

    WEEKLY BULLETIN ON OUTBREAKS
    AND OTHER EMERGENCIES

    Week 43: 23 October - 29 October 2023
    Data as reported by: 17:00; 29 October 2023

    ...

    Mauritania

    Diphtheria


    8 Cases
    4 Deaths
    50.0% CFR


    EVENT DESCRIPTION

    On 19 October 2023, the Mauritanian Ministry of
    Health reported suspected cases of Diphtheria. The
    first case had onset of symptoms on 8 October 2023.
    He sought medical attention on 11 October with
    additional symptoms including fever, facial edema, false
    membranes and foul-smelling whitish deposits in the
    pharynx, sputum, unilateral swelling, tonsillar phlegmon,
    epistaxis, bleeding gums, and toothache.

    During epidemiological week 42 (ending 22 October
    2023), a total of eight suspected cases, including four
    deaths (CFR 50.0%), were reported from Bassiknou
    hospital in Bassiknou district (Moughataas), in Hodh el
    Chargui region (Wilaya).

    Five (62.5%) cases were females and three (37.5%)
    were males, with ages ranging between 2-20 years old.
    Samples have been collected from two (25.0%) cases
    and are currently being processed at the National
    Institute of Public Health Research Laboratory.
    Only one (12.5%) of the eight suspected cases was
    vaccinated against diphtheria (Penta 3).

    PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

    The National Public Health Emergency Operations
    Center (PHEOC) has been activated and an
    incident management system has been established.
    Coordination meetings are being held three times a
    week at the PHEOC.

    A multidisciplinary team, including two
    epidemiologists, two emergency physicians and a
    bacteriologist, was deployed to the region to support
    the investigation and response, and to provide
    medicines and equipment to the bacteriology unit.
    Samples are being analyzed at the National Institute
    of Public Health Research Laboratory.

    SITUATION INTERPRETATION

    The Mauritanian Ministry reported suspected Diphtheria
    cases on 19 October 2023. Only one of the eight suspected
    cases had been vaccinated with the Penta 3 vaccine
    and two cases are awaiting laboratory confirmation.
    One of the primary public health interventions to control
    Diphtheria outbreak is diphtheria vaccination. However,
    sub-optimal vaccination coverage in Mauritania, with
    76.0% reported nationwide in 2022, remains a significant
    challenge. Enhancing surveillance, laboratory testing, and
    vaccination activities is crucial to timely detect, confirm,
    and respond to potential outbreaks.

    ‚Äč
    This Weekly Bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African region. This week’s articles cover: Humanitarian crisis in Mali Polio in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Diphtheria in Mauritania
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela
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