Diphtheria is a serious infection caused by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae that make toxin (poison). It can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death. CDC recommends vaccines for infants, children, teens, and adults to prevent diphtheria.
Diphtheria can infect the respiratory tract (parts of the body involved in breathing) and skin. In the respiratory tract, it causes a thick, gray coating to build up in the throat or nose. This coating can make it hard to breathe and swallow. Diphtheria skin infections can cause open sores or shallow ulcers.
- Diphtheria is an infection caused by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae that make toxin.
- Diphtheria spreads from person to person, usually through respiratory droplets, like from coughing or sneezing. It can also spread by touching open sores or ulcers of someone with a diphtheria skin infection.
- Diphtheria Vaccines
Diphtheria vaccines are very good at preventing this serious infection.
- Vaccine Information Statements: DTaP | Tdap | Td
These one-page CDC vaccine information statements explain who should get each type of diphtheria vaccine and when.
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know
This webpage offers comprehensive information about diphtheria vaccines, including types and how well they work.
- Information for Healthcare Professionals
These webpages give vaccine recommendations and contraindications; composition, immunogenicity, and efficacy; storage and handling; and administration details.