Diphtheria: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Diphtheria?

Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness caused by bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

Recovery Time

Recovery is slow, it may take several months.


  • Physical examination
  • Swabs of the throat for laboratory testing
  • Medical history including immunisation status
  • Toxin assay
  • ECG

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  How long does it take for the illness to develop?
The illness may develop up to seven days after contact with the bacteria
Q2.  I cared for a diphtheria patient in hospital. Should I be treated?
Any health care workers who may have been involved in treating a patient with diphtheria may also require a swab test, antibiotics and immunization against the infection. However, School classroom contacts and those who share the same room at work are not normally considered to be close contacts. A doctor or nurse will take a swab test from your nose and you will be given a prescription for a course of antibiotics. It is important to finish the whole course of treatment. You will also receive a booster vaccination if required.
Q3.  Does the vaccine offer good protection against diphtheria?
Yes. Diphtheria vaccine is given as part of a combined diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) and polio vaccine, and offers very effective protection against all these diseases.
Q4.  If I have been fully immunized can I still get diphtheria?
  • No, the vaccine protects you against the diphtheria toxin. However, immunization does not prevent you from carrying the bacteria.
  • Most cases occur in people who are unvaccinated or inadequately immunized.

Corynebacterium diphtheria, patch on throat, URTI, harsh voice, chills, Diphtheritic croup, Cutaneous Diphtheria, high fever, infectious disease, RTI, Diphtheria doctor question answer, Diphtheria facts,