Diphtheria: Deadly Victorian Disease Makes A Comeback

Diphtheria sounds like a disease from Australia’s distant past.  But believe or not, it’s still a significant health concern in our community. An antitoxin for the disease was first found in 1884, paving the way for a vaccine in 1923. Since then, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccines have been combined into the single “DTP”  injection, and it’s been described as one of the most effective vaccination programs to date.

But just two weeks ago, an adult was diagnosed with diphtheria in NSW. So should we be worried about a resurgence of this potentially fatal disease? Tess had a chat with Dr Meru Sheel, Field Epidemiologist at the University of Sydney.

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