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Diphtheria is a serious infection of the respiratory tract or skin. The disease is transmitted by sneezing, coughing or by direct contact with respiratory secretions or by direct contact with skin lesions of an infected person. The disease remains a problem in the developing world (sub-Saharan Africa, parts of South East Asia and South America).

Recommendations for travellers

A combination vaccine, Revaxis, is available to protect adults against diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Children normally receive these vaccinations as part of the national UK schedule. Travellers should ensure that they have had a primary course of vaccine and receive a booster every 10 years if they are travelling to an area where diphtheria, tetanus or polio are considered high risk. As with all vaccines the clinical staff will advise during the travel consultation on all aspects of the procedure including vaccine dose schedule, contraindications to vaccination, any possible interactions with other vaccines or medications, the range of possible adverse effects from the specific vaccine and any queries. Written product information to retain for reference is also provided.