Unvaccinated boy who was first to get diphtheria in Spain for 29 years dies

Officials say a six-year-old boy who had been the first child to contract diphtheria in Spain in 29 years has died from the disease in a Barcelona hospital.

Bianca Pont, spokeswoman for the Vall d'Hebron university hospital, said in a statement that the patient, who had been admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit on May 30, died in the early hours of Saturday.

It was the first case of this infectious disease to be diagnosed in the northeastern region of Catalonia for 32 years and the first in Spain since 1986.

The boy had been a resident of Olot — a small city north of Barcelona and near the border with France — who had not been vaccinated against the disease because his parents had opted against inoculation.