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FAQ

How severe is diphtheria?

Page last updated 09 July 2018

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

  1. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition. 4.2 Diphtheria. Available at http://immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook10-home~handbook10part4~handbook10-4-2 (accessed 7 April 2018).
  2. Victorian Government. Better Health Channel. Diphtheria. Available at https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/diphtheria (accessed 7 April 2018).
  3. Centers for Disease Control. Diphtheria. Diagnosis and Treatment. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/diphtheria/about/diagnosis-treatment.html (accessed 7 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0134a - Date of preparation May 2018

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