Infection The infection is transmitted from person to person through the air.
Vaccination against diphtheria is included in the UK childhood vaccination programme, where the fourth and last vaccination is given as part of the preschool (3 – 5 years) Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis vaccination.
The protection after the four childhood vaccinations are at least 20 years.
Symptoms Diphtheria is a serious throat infection with pain, difficulty in swallowing and fever. Diphtheria can cause death if not treated.
Diagnosis Detection of diphtheria bacteria by culture and microscopy.
Treatment Antibiotics as early as possible.
More about diphtheria Diphtheria is a notifiable disease. 23 cases (provisionally) were reported by the PHLS in 1999, the latest year for which data are available. Diphtheria is more common in third world countries, and there was a large outbreak in the former Soviet Union in the beginning of the 90ies.