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Diphtheria: WHO publishes first ever guidance following outbreaks

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q407 (Published 14 February 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q407
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

The World Health Organization has rapidly developed guidance on the clinical management of diphtheria in response to increasing outbreaks in several African countries.1

There were outbreaks of diphtheria in Guinea, Nigeria, and neighbouring countries in 2023. According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a diphtheria epidemic is currently raging in the Batha region of central Chad with more than 825 cases and 36 deaths reported since June 2023.

WHO says the recent outbreaks highlight the urgent need for evidence based clinical practice guidelines. Given the sporadic nature of outbreaks, many clinicians have …

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