No announcement yet.

Diphtheria outbreak in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Diphtheria outbreak in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

    Posted on December 6, 2017 by marcin
    Diphtheria is spreading fast in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

    6 December 2017 | Geneva – Diphtheria is rapidly spreading among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, WHO warned today.
    More than 110 suspected cases, including 6 deaths, have been clinically diagnosed by health partners, including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).
    “These cases could be just the tip of the iceberg. This is an extremely vulnerable population with low vaccination coverage, living in conditions that could be a breeding ground for infectious diseases like cholera, measles, rubella, and diphtheria,” said Dr Navaratnasamy Paranietharan, WHO Representative to Bangladesh.
    “This is why we have protected more than 700,000 people with the oral cholera vaccine, as well as more than 350,000 children with measles-rubella vaccine in a campaign that ended yesterday. Now we have to deal with diphtheria.”
    Since August 2017, more than 624,000 people fleeing violence in neighbouring Myanmar have gathered in densely populated temporary settlements with poor access to clean water, sanitation and health services – and the numbers continue to swell.
    WHO is working with the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UNICEF and partners to contain the spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease through effective treatment and adequate prevention.
    Together, they are supporting patient diagnosis and treatment, ensuring adequate supplies of medicines, and preparing a vaccination campaign targeting all children up to 6 years with pentavalent (DPT-HepB-Hib) and pneumococcal vaccines, which protect against diphtheria and other diseases. Training is already underway for vaccinators.
    WHO has procured an initial 1,000 vials of diphtheria antitoxins that are due to arrive in Bangladesh by the weekend. Combined with antibiotics, the antitoxins can save the lives of people already infected with diphtheria, by neutralizing the toxins produced by the deadly bacteria.
    “We are working with partners to ensure that clinical guidance is available to health workers, and that there are enough beds and medicines for those who get sick. But the only way to control this outbreak is to protect people, particularly children, through vaccination,” said Dr Paranietharan.
    For more information, please contact:

    Gregory Hartl
    Telephone: +41 22 791 4458
    Mobile: +41 79 203 6715

  • #2
    Diphtheria – Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh

    Disease outbreak news
    13 December 2017

    From 3 November 2017 through 12 December 2017, a total of 804 suspected diphtheria cases including 15 deaths were reported among the displaced Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar (Figure 1). The first suspected case was reported on 10 November 2017 by a clinic of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Cox’s Bazar.
    Figure 1: Number of diphtheria cases among the displaced Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh reported by date of illness onset from 3 November 2017 through 12 December 20171

    1Date of onset information is missing for 45 (5.6%) cases.
    Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
    Of the suspected cases, 73% are younger than 15 years of age and 60% females (the sex for one percent cases was not reported). Fourteen of 15 deaths reported among suspected diphtheria cases were children younger than 15 years of age. To date, no cases of diphtheria have been reported from local communities.
    Public health response

    Since August 2017, more than 646 000 people from neighbouring Myanmar have gathered in densely populated camps and temporary settlements with poor access to clean water, sanitation and health services. A multi-agency diphtheria task force, led by the Ministry of Health Family Welfare of Bangladesh, has been providing clinical and public health services to the displaced population. WHO has mobilized US$ 3 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE) to support essential health services in Bangladesh.
    WHO is working with health authorities to provide tetanus diphtheria (Td) vaccines for children aged seven to 15 years, as well as pentavalent vaccines (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and hepatitis B) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) for children aged six weeks to six years. A list of essential medicines and required supplies to support the response is being finalized by WHO and partners.The Serum Institute of India has donated 300 000 doses of pentavalent vaccines for use in the response.
    WHO risk assessment

    The current outbreak in Cox’s Bazar is evolving rapidly. To date, all suspected cases have occurred among the displaced Rohingya population, who are living in temporary settlements with difficult and crowded conditions. The coverage of diphtheria toxoid containing vaccines among the displaced Rohingya population is difficult to estimate, although diphtheria outbreaks are an indication of low overall population vaccination coverage. Available vaccination data for Bangladesh indicates that the coverage of diphtheria toxoid containing vaccines is high. However, spillover into the local population cannot be ruled out. WHO considers the risk at the national level to be moderate and low at the regional and global levels.
    WHO advice

    WHO recommends timely clinical management of suspected diphtheria cases that is consistent with WHO guidelines consisting of diphtheria antitoxin, appropriate antibiotics and implementation of infection prevention and control measures. High-risk populations such as young children, close contacts of diphtheria cases, and health workers should be vaccinated on priority basis. A coordinated response and community engagement can reduce the risk of further transmission and help to control the outbreak.
    For more information on diphtheria, please see the link below:


    • #3
      Bangladesh - Diphtheria outbreak (DG ECHO, WHO)(ECHO Daily Flash of 19 December 2017)


      from European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Published on 19 Dec 2017 — View Original

      EUCPM activation
      • A high number of diphtheria cases have been reported among Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. 1 474 suspected cases have been admitted to health facilities so far and 20 deaths have been confirmed among refugees...


      • #4
        Diphtheria outbreak, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh - Daily epidemiological bulletin, 2017-12-26


        from World Health Organization Published on 26 Dec 2017 — View Original

        Download PDF (118.1 KB)

        Epidemiological overview as of 25 Dec 2017
        Between 8 Nov 2017 and 25 Dec 2017, 2440 suspected case-patients with diphtheria were reported in the settlements of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals, Cox’s Bazar (Figure 1), 80 of which were reported on 25 Dec 2017 (Figure 2). Date of onset information is missing for 111 (4.5%) case-patients...


        • #5
          Diphtheria Outbreak Response Update: Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh - Update #2 (27 December 2017)


          from World Health Organization Published on 27 Dec 2017 — View Original

          Download PDF (463.93 KB)

          KEY UPDATES
          • As of 26 December 2017, a total of 2 526 cases suspected with diphtheria have been reported, of whom 96 presented at the treating health facilities on 26 December 2017. A total of 27 deaths have been recorded so far.
          • As of 26 December, 109 487 children 6 weeks to under 7 years were vaccinated with Penta,
            PCV, and bOPV and 102 383 children aged 7-15 years were vaccinated with Td vaccine...