Slideshows Images Quizzes

Copyright © 2018 by RxList Inc. RxList does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

Definition of Diphtheria

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Diphtheria: An acute infectious upper respiratory tract disease that affects the throat. It is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Symptoms include sore throat and mild fever at first. As the disease progresses, a membranous substance forms in the throat that makes it difficult to breathe and swallow. Diphtheria can be deadly. It is one of the diseases that the DT (diphtheria-tetanus), DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis), and DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular-pertussis) vaccines are designed to prevent.

Reviewed on 12/4/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors