Diphtheria Vaccine for Travel

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Diptheria Vaccine


Diphtheria is an infection of the upper respiratory tract and on occasion the skin. Onset is acute and is spread by close contact with other infected individuals. The incubation period between 2-5 days. Untreated subjects become infectious for up to 4 weeks. On milder infections carriers maybe asymptomatic.

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Vaccination Pricing

£39 Per dose

£39 Per Course

Signs & Symptoms

Diphtheria can cause nose and throat infections: a tough ‘leathery’ grey/yellow membrane develops, that affects the soft palate, tonsils and throat. Lymph glands become swollen, prominent and tender, producing a ‘bull neck’.

Symptoms include:

  • Pharyngitis with fever
  • Swollen lymph glands in the neck which protrude
  • Headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe infection results in paralysis and cardiac failure

The Vaccination

Ages (Years) Doses Required Schedule Time before travel Boost required at
6-85 1** - Up to day before* 10 Years

*Vaccines work best if given time to become active. This vaccine can be given up to the day before travel and will provide some cover.

**Children who have have already been immunised with the NHS childhood vaccination program.

How do you catch Diptheria?

Diphtheria is primarily transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets. The most common ways to catch diphtheria include:

  1. Close contact with an infected person: Diphtheria is highly contagious and can spread through close contact with an infected individual. Breathing in respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes can lead to infection.
  2. Touching contaminated surfaces: Diphtheria bacteria can survive on surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs or shared utensils, for a short period. If a person touches these contaminated surfaces and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes, they can introduce the bacteria into their body.
  3. In rare cases, contact with infected skin sores: Diphtheria can also be transmitted through contact with skin sores caused by the bacteria. This mode of transmission is less common than respiratory transmission.

It's important to note that diphtheria can be prevented through vaccination. Routine childhood immunization programs include diphtheria vaccination as part of a combination vaccine, often referred to as the DTP or DTaP vaccine. Booster shots are recommended during adolescence and adulthood to maintain immunity. Maintaining good hygiene practices, such as regular handwashing and covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, can also help reduce the risk of diphtheria transmission.

Who is at risk from Diptheria?

Individuals of all ages can be at risk of contracting diphtheria if they are not adequately vaccinated or have not received booster shots. However, certain groups may be more susceptible to the disease.

  1. Unvaccinated or under-vaccinated individuals: People who have not received the recommended diphtheria vaccines or who have incomplete immunization schedules are at higher risk. This includes individuals in regions with limited access to vaccination programs.
  2. Infants and children: Younger individuals, particularly infants and young children who have not completed their vaccination series, are more vulnerable to diphtheria infection.
  3. Older adults: Older adults who have not received recent booster shots may be at increased risk as immunity can wane over time. Boosters are recommended every 10 years to maintain protection.
  4. Individuals in areas with limited healthcare infrastructure: People residing in regions with inadequate healthcare facilities and limited access to vaccination programs are at higher risk of diphtheria.
  5. Travelers: Travelers visiting regions where diphtheria is more common, especially areas with recent outbreaks or low vaccination rates, may be at risk if they have not received appropriate vaccinations or booster shots.

It is important for individuals in these high-risk groups to ensure they receive the recommended vaccinations and follow the immunization schedules provided by healthcare professionals. Vaccination not only protects individuals from diphtheria but also helps prevent the spread of the disease within communities.

Symptoms of Diptheria

Diphtheria is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The symptoms of diphtheria can vary depending on the site of infection and the severity of the illness. Common symptoms include:

  1. Sore throat: One of the initial signs of diphtheria is a sore throat, which can be mild at first but may progress rapidly.
  2. Thick grayish membrane: A hallmark symptom of diphtheria is the formation of a thick grayish-white membrane that can develop in the throat or on the tonsils. The membrane can obstruct the airway and make breathing difficult.
  3. Swollen neck glands: The lymph nodes in the neck may become enlarged and tender due to the infection.
  4. Fever: Many individuals with diphtheria experience a moderate to high fever, typically above 38°C (100.4°F).
  5. Weakness and fatigue: Diphtheria can cause weakness, fatigue, and a general feeling of unwellness.
  6. Hoarseness and voice changes: In some cases, diphtheria can lead to hoarseness or changes in the voice.

Severe cases of diphtheria can result in complications affecting various organs, such as the heart and nervous system. These complications can cause breathing difficulties, heart problems, paralysis, and even death. Immediate medical attention is crucial if diphtheria is suspected.

It's important to note that diphtheria is preventable through vaccination. Routine childhood immunization programs include diphtheria vaccination as part of a combination vaccine, often administered as the DTP or DTaP vaccine. Booster shots are recommended during adolescence and adulthood to maintain immunity.

What are the Diptheria Risk Areas?

Diptheria risk areas

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