About Diphtheria

Starting in the 1920s, diphtheria rates dropped quickly in the United States and other countries with the widespread use of vaccines. In the past decade, there were less than five cases of diphtheria in the United States reported to CDC. However, the disease continues to cause illness globally. In 2016, countries reported about 7,100 cases of diphtheria to the World Health Organization, but there are likely many more cases.

Page last reviewed: December 17, 2018