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Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death. Vaccines are recommended for infants, children, teens and adults to prevent diphtheria.

Diphtheria Topics

woman sneezingAbout Diphtheria Disease

Causes and transmission, symptoms, complications, diagnosis and treatment, prevention, photos…

getting a vaccineVaccination

Information on diphtheria vaccines…

Portrait of a doctor with a stethoscope For Clinicians

Forms and worksheets, diphtheria presentation and management…


Reference lab, resources...

line graphSurveillance

Diphtheria trends, case definitions, reporting…

Diphtheria and the Alaskan IditarodDiphtheria Antitoxin (DAT)

CDC is authorized to distribute diphtheria antitoxin (DAT)...

stack of booksPublications

Publications on diphtheria and Corynebacterium diphtheriae

Diphtheria Vaccination

Diphtheria Vaccines: What You Need to Know
This one-page CDC vaccine information statement explains who should get DTaP vaccine and when.

Diphtheria Vaccine Basics
Offers comprehensive information about diphtheria vaccines and other educational tools.

Vaccine Safety
As with all vaccines, there can be minor reactions, including pain and redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue or a vague feeling of discomfort.

Diphtheria Vaccine Recommendations
Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)


Diphtheria for Kids

Diphtheria character

Diphtheria is a poisonous, toxic infector. When diphtheria strikes, its bacteria swarm and multiply…


Diphtheria Photos

Photos of the bacterium that causes diphtheria and images of patients.Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacteria



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