Diphtheria in Ireland

Diphtheria is an acute bacterial disease usually affecting the tonsils, pharynx, larynx and occasionally the skin. Diphtheria is a vaccine preventable disease.

This notifiable disease is attributable to three organisms, each of which is toxin-producing: Corynebacterium diphtheriae, C. ulcerans, C. pseudotuberculosis.

In 1948, 521 cases of diphtheria were reported. The introduction of the combination diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DTP) vaccine in Ireland in 1952/1953 led to a decline in the number of diphtheria cases when until 1968 no cases were reported for the first time. After a period of 47 years, however, one case was notified in 2015 and another in 2016. No cases have been reported since then.

 Diphtheria graph 2018

Diphtheria, 2022

0 The number of diphtheria notifications in 2022
0.0 The national notification rate per 100,000 population in 2022

Last updated: 14 August 2023