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Diphtheria is a contagious bacterial infection that mainly affects the nose and throat. Less commonly, it can also affect the skin. It is very rare in England.
Symptoms of diphtheria
Symptoms of diphtheria can include a fever, chills, a sore throat and extreme tiredness. They begin two to seven days after you become infected.
Causes of diphtheria
diphtheria is caused by two types of bacteria, Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Corynebacterium ulcerans. It can be spread by infected people and animals.
Treating diphtheria
Diphtheria is treated using antibiotics and antitoxins. You will be immediately referred to hospital and admitted to an isolation ward to stop it from spreading.
Complications of diphtheria
Diphtheria can cause potentially life-threatening complications, such as breathing difficulties and problems with the heart and nervous system.
Diphtheria vaccination
The most effective way of preventing diphtheria is to ensure that all of your vaccinations are up-to-date.