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Who is at highest risk for suffering complications from Diphtheria?

Updated January 19, 2023

While diphtheria is extremely rare in U.S. and other developed countries with good sanitation,  it is still endemic in various areas including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the South Pacific, and countries including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. 

Death from diphtheria is estimated to occur in five to ten percent of all cases. Persons more at risk from death are persons older than 40 years of age or less than five. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Diphtheria and the Diphtheria vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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