DIPHTHERIA is a disease that causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death. It is spread from the respiratory droplets from sneezes and coughs. Recent surveys have found that immunity decreases with age, and only 30% of U.S. adults age 60–69 years are vaccinated against diphtheria. This is a concern because the disease continues to occur in other parts of the world. Vaccination with a vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid is the most effective way to prevent this disease. At least one dose of diphtheria containing vaccine is recommended to be the Tdap vaccine, as it also protects against tetanus and pertussis.
Diphtheria: Questions and Answers (105 KB)