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.
Diphtheria starts with a sore throat, mild fever (101 degrees or less), and chills. It can also cause a thick coating in the back of the nose or throat which makes it hard to breathe or swallow.
Diphtheria can be very serious. As many as 1 out of 5 children and about 1 out of 10 people who get diphtheria dies. The coating in the back of the nose or throat can get so thick that it blocks the airway, so the person can’t breathe. The diphtheria toxin can affect the heart, causing an abnormal heart rhythm and even heart failure. It can also affect the nerves and lead to paralysis.
Vaccine against diphtheria prevents from serious complications of the disease which may even turn fatal.
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) & Indian Medical Association (IMA) strongly recommend children & adults receive all vaccines according to the recommended Vaccination schedule.