Diptheria (DTP) Vaccination
- Low risk
- Moderate risk
- High risk
Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium corynebacterium diphtheria. The infection affects the upper respiratory system and sometimes the skin, and is highly contagious.
It is an air borne disease and is spread when infected individuals sneeze or cough. This can occur commonly in crowded areas where lots of people can be exposed to the infection. It can also be picked up when people are in contact with any items an infected person may have touched, including drink glasses and tissues.
Where is diptheria found?
Diphtheria occurs in countries where there is poor hygiene, poor living conditions and lack of immunisation, especially where there is no immunisation programme. It is most frequently found in in India, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Papua New Guinea, Russia, sub-Saharan Africa (particularly Nigeria), the Middle East and several countries in Central and South America (particularly Vietnam and Brazil.)
Vaccination offers protection against this disease.
Revaxis is the vaccine which helps to protect against diphtheria, tetanus and polio. It has been available since 1941 and is advised for people travelling to high risk places where diphtheria may occur. At Cosmopolitan Medical Clinic, our doctor or nurse will advise if you should consider having this vaccine. Women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss their itinerary and risk profile with our travel nurse.
Urgent medical attention is required if a person has contracted diphtheria. Antibiotics and anti-toxins are often required. If the breathing becomes affected, then intensive care treatment may be necessary.
Children usually receive this vaccine as part of the national schedule, which is a course of 5 doses. Adults and teenagers can be vaccinated via a course of one injection of the combined diphtheria, tetanus and polio vaccine.
Travellers should ensure that they have had a primary vaccination course and receive a booster every 10 years if they are travelling to an area where diphtheria, tetanus or polio are considered high risk.