Diphtheria is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that usually affects the nose and throat. It is a vaccine-preventable disease which is now very uncommon in Australia but which can re-emerge when immunisation rates are low.

Further information

For further information please see the fact sheet or contact your local public health unit on 1300 066 055.​

Vaccine information for women who are breastfeeding

Breast feeding mothers can be confident, despite lack of data in the product information, that adult formulations of diphtheria toxoid, tetanus toxoid and pertussis (dTpa or Tdap) are safe for them and for ​their infa​nts.

See the fact sheet Use of adult formulations of diphtheria toxoid, tetanus toxoid and pertussis – Boostrix or Adacel – in breast feeding mothers for more information.

Information for health professionals

​​Equine-derived Diphtheria antitoxin (DAT) is made available through Queensland Health (care of Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane) for the treatment of diphtheria infection. 

Contact your local public health unit (1300 066 055) to arrange through CD OnCall officers.

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Page Updated: Monday 13 March 2017