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3a.2 How common was diptheria before routine vaccination, and how common is it now?




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This article is from the Childhood Vaccinations FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax lynng@alsirat.com with numerous contributions by others.

3a.2 How common was diptheria before routine vaccination, and how common is it now?

In 1900, there were 40.3 deaths per 100,000 population from diptheria
in the US. There was a sharp decline in the number of deaths per
100,000 both before and after routine vaccination was instituted in
the 1940s, and in 1990 there were 4 cases of diptheria reported in the
US. (_Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to
1970_ and _Statistical Abstracts of the United States_.

In Europe, there were large diptheria epidemics during and after World
War II, with an estimated one million cases and 50 000 deaths in 1943
(source: WHO web page on diptheria, written March 1998,
http://www.who.org/gpv-dvacc/diseases/diphtheria_dis.htm). More
recently, there have been large epidemics in Russia and the Newly
Independent States.

 

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previous page: 3a.1 What is diptheria, and what are the risks of the disease?
  
page up: Childhood Vaccinations FAQ
  
next page: 3a.3 How effective is the diptheria vaccine?