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What is diphtheria?

ANSWER

Diphtheria is a very contagious infection that makes it difficult to breathe. In severe cases, it can cause heart and nerve damage.

SOURCES:  

CDC web site: "Possible Side Effects of Vaccines" and "Tetanus, Diphtheria (TD), or Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine. What You Need To Know."

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Types of Vaccines."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Ask the Experts: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis" and "Pertussis Vaccine."

World Health Organization web site: "Diphtheria."

CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 30, 2017

SOURCES:  

CDC web site: "Possible Side Effects of Vaccines" and "Tetanus, Diphtheria (TD), or Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine. What You Need To Know."

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Types of Vaccines."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Ask the Experts: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis" and "Pertussis Vaccine."

World Health Organization web site: "Diphtheria."

CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 30, 2017

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What is pertussis?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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