PRO/EDR> Diphtheria – Africa (16): Algeria


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

1) Algeria
Date: Thu 3 Aug 2023
Source: Ministry of Health Algeria – Facebook page [in Arabic, machine
trans., edited]

The Ministry of Health has been informed that following the emergence
of cases of diphtheria in the southern states (the border areas with
the Sahel countries), all measures were taken urgently by the local
health authorities in order to avoid the spread of the disease.

The actions taken are summarized as follows:
– Taking care of all cases at the level of health structures
[services] in the best way.
– Establishing a crisis cell to follow up the epidemiological
situation and enhance monitoring.
– Conducting investigations on cases.
– Provide all means (medicines, anti-diphtheria serum, vaccine,
sampling tools, etc.) for the treatment or vaccination teams.
– Carrying out extensive awareness and vaccination campaigns targeting
the most affected neighborhoods, in addition to vaccinating the
relevant people.

So far, 80 cases have been registered, including 16 confirmed cases.
The majority of the registered cases were foreign nationals from
neighboring countries who were not vaccinated, living in the outskirts
of [the province of] Tamanrasset, and the vaccination campaign
included more than 10 100 people.

The Ministry of Health reassures that the situation is stable at the
present time, as no case has been registered for several days, but
vigilance remains required.

As a reminder, diphtheria is a highly contagious disease caused by
externally toxic bacteria that spread mainly through direct contact or
through respiratory droplets, and it is prevented by vaccination.

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