Diphtheria is a contagious disease that is caused by bacteria. Anyone who has not been immunized can get diphtheria.

The symptoms of diphtheria include:

  • sore throat
  • fever
  • difficulty breathing

Diphtheria can be very serious, especially for infants and very young children. It was once one of the most common causes of death in Canadian children under the age of 5.

Fortunately, diphtheria can be prevented through immunization. The diphtheria vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect you and your children. Thanks to immunization, in the last twenty years less than 5 cases of diphtheria are reported each year in Canada.

Services and information


Causes of the disease, how it's spread, and where it's found.


Main symptoms, what to look for and what to do if you become ill.


What the risks are and who is most at risk.


How the disease is diagnosed and treatment options.


How the disease can be prevented, vaccine information and additional measures.


How the disease is monitored.

Health Professionals

Disease description, epidemiology, publications and resources.

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