Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that affects the membranes of the throat and nose. Although it spreads easily, diphtheria can be prevented through vaccination. If left untreated, it can cause severe damage to the kidneys, nervous system and heart.
The National Health Profile released by the health ministry on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, suggested that India witnessed 4,071 cases of diphtheria and 104 deaths in 2014. Among the states, Delhi had the highest number of diphtheria cases at 1,418 and also the highest number of deaths at 60.
Haryana recorded the country's second highest diphtheria cases at 663, and West Bengal saw the second highest number of deaths at 10. Assam recorded the third highest figure of diphtheria cases at 506, followed by Maharashtra at 444.