Diphtheria is a bacterial disease which can be fatal if left untreated. It is generally spread by exhaled water droplets and occasionally through infected skin lesions. Travellers who are visiting developing countries and mixing closely with the local population are particularly at risk. Such travellers should therefore be sure they have had a Diphtheria vaccine within the last 10 years.
Anyone planning to travel should ensure they have had a Tetanus vaccine within the last 10 years.
If contracted, Tetanus can lead to uncontrollable muscle spasms and can be fatal. The bacteria which causes tetanus can be found in soil all over the world, and is contracted when that bacteria gets into a small cut or wound.
Although now widely eradicated, Polio still exists in some African and Asian countries – and cases do still emerge worldwide.
The disease attacks the central nervous system and is usually spread through contaminated water and food.
For more information on Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio and vaccines required for specific countries please visit http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home.aspx