Diphtheria is a serious infection of the respiratory tract or skin. The disease is transmitted by sneezing, coughing or by direct contact with respiratory secretions or by direct contact with skin lesions of an infected person.

The disease remains a problem in the developing world (sub-Saharan Africa, parts of South East Asia and South America).


Diphtheria can cause serious inflammation of the respiratory tract and is usually identified by a greyish-white membrane seen at the back of the throat. In severe cases the airway can become blocked and death can result.

The bacteria that cause diphtheria can also invade skin injuries and wounds. This form of diphtheria is usually mild and is commonly found on lower legs, feet and hands.

Diphtheria can cause multi-organ failure even if recovery appears to have been made weeks earlier


Treatment for diphtheria, both respiratory and skin, is with specific antibiotics and antitoxin. Assisted breathing may be required for those who suffer from airway obstruction.

Recommendations for Travellers

Diphtheria is preventable disease with a simple diphtheria vaccine. A combination vaccine called Revaxis is available to protect adults against diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Children normally receive these vaccinations as part of the national schedule. Travellers should ensure that they have had a primary course of vaccine and receive a booster every 10 years if they are travelling to an area where diphtheria, tetanus or polio are considered high risk.

All travellers who have not had the diphtheria vaccine are at risk, so the most important precaution to take is to ensure that all travellers are vaccinated. You can also avoid Diphtheria by planning to take your holiday in the warmer months of the year

For more information please visit fit for travel.

We provide vaccinations by appointment at our clinics in Farnborough in Hampshire and Woking in Surrey. If inconvenient, please contact us to take advantage of our Mobile Clinic service.

Single dose course.

Price per dose: D.T.P £40.00

To make an appointment please click here

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