Skip to main content
FAQ

How severe is diphtheria?

Page last updated 09 April 2020

Diphtheria can be life threatening if left untreated.  

The disease can escalate from its initial phase (2-3 days) of sore throat, fever and loss of appetite to severe weakness and death (6-10 days).

Rapid and effective treatment is important, however even with treatment, about 1 out of 10 people who contract diphtheria will die.

Sources & Citations

2. Victorian Government. Better Health Channel. Diphtheria. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/diphtheria (accessed 27 February 2020).

8. Centers for Disease Control. Chapter 3, infectious diseases related to travel. Diphtheria. Available at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/diphtheria (accessed 27 February 2020).

9. Centers for Disease Control. Diphtheria. Diagnosis and Treatment. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/diphtheria/about/diagnosis-treatment.html (accessed 27 February 2020).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0134(1)a - Date of preparation March 2020

Related