Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease of humans that affects the upper respiratory tract and occasionally the skin, caused by the action of diphtheria toxin produced by toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae or by Corynebacterium ulcerans.
Diphtheria is a vaccine preventable disease. The routine childhood immunisation schedule includes vaccination against diphtheria.
For symptoms and general information on diphtheria, visit NHS Choices.
It is a notifiable disease in England and Wales. Health professionals must inform local health protection teams of suspected cases.