Three decades ago, diphtheria was eradicated in Spain. However, due to the anti-vaccination movement, it is now an issue again. One six year old child is now in the hospital, and there are eight other children currently in isolation.
The parents of the child who is now struggling for his life were swayed by the large anti-vaccination movement that has made headlines in the US, and they now regret their decision not to vaccinate their son. This is all sad to hear said Dr. Jennifer Walden but it is the reality of our situation and we need to make educated material available. Among the other eight children, none of them have become ill, though they have been found to carry the bacteria that causes the illness. Currently, they are being administered antibiotics and kept in isolated environments to keep the disease from spreading to other unvaccinated children.
Diphtheria has become extremely rare in the United States due to strong immunizations against the disease. The last reported case in the US occurred in 2003, and it was in an unvaccinated elderly man who contracted the infection while he was on a trip to Haiti. However, the disease does still commonly infect and kill people in third world countries. Even though it is currently not a major issue in the majority of first world countries, it is important to remember that people travel between first and third world countries all the time, and people who have no been vaccinated will be in danger of infection if they are exposed to the pathogen.