Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a dangerous bacterial infection that damages the mucous membranes in the nose and throat. Diphtheria can by avoided by the use of vaccines even through it is contagious from person to person.

WHAT CAUSES DIPHTHERIA?

Diphtheria is caused by a kind of bacteria called CORYNEBACTERUM DIPHTHERIAE. The disease is often passed from person to person or through touch with objects that have the bacteria on them, like a cup or used tissue. If you are in close proximity to someone who has diphtheria and they cough, sneeze or blow their nose, you could also contract the disease.
An infected person can potentially spread the bacterial infection for up to six weeks after the initial infection, even if they dont exhibit any diphtheria symptoms or signs.
The bacteria typically infect your throat and nose. The bacteria release harmful compounds known as toxins after you are infected. The poisons circulate throughout your bloodstream and frequently result in the formation of a thick, grey coating in the following bodily parts:
1) Throat.
2) Tongue.
3) Nose.
4) Airway.
These toxins can occasionally harm other organs including the heart, brain and kidneys. Complications that could be fatal can result from this, including:
1) Myocarditis ( inflammation of the heart).
2) Renal failure (kidney failure).
3) Muscular paralysis.

WHAT ARE RISK FACTORS.
Diphtheria is fairly common in developing countries where immunization rates are low. In these countries, children under age 5 and people over age 60 are particularly at risk of getting diphtheria. People are also at an increased risk of contracting diphtheria if they:
– aren`t up to date on their vaccinations.
– visit a country that doesn`t provide immunizations.
-live in unclean or crowded environment.
-have an immune system disorder such as AIDS.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DIPHTHERIA?
Diphtheria symptoms frequently show up two to five days after the infection. While some people have moderate symptoms similar to the common cold, others don`t feel any symptoms similar at all.
A thick grey coating on the tonsils and throat is the most obvious and typical sign of diphtheria other typical symptoms include:
1) Fever.
2) Chills.
3) Rapid breathing.
4) Cough.
5) Sore Throat.
6) General fatigue.
7) Slurred speech.
8) Changes in vision.
9) Signs of shock.
HOW CAN DIPHTHERIA BE DIAGNOSED?
A diagnosis will be made by your doctor based on your symptoms and the results of a lab test. They obtain a sample from your sore or the back of your throat using a swab. The swab is subsequently sent to analysis and diagnosis.

HOW IS DIPHTHERIA TREATED?
Treatment for diphtheria starts immediately often even before the results of the lab tests are confirmed. To prevent organ damage your health care provider will administer diphtheria antitoxin. To treat infections, they`ll recommend antibiotics, usually penicillin or erythromycin.
To stop the spread of the disease, diphtheria patients are segregated from the general population. After taking antibiotics for around 48 hours, an infected person is no longer contagious. Tests will be be repeated to confirm that the bacteria are eliminated when therapy is finished. You will receive a vaccine to stop further illnesses after the bacteria are eliminated when therapy is finished. You will receive a vaccine to stop further illnesses after the bacteria are eliminated.

HOW IS DIPHTHERIA PREVENTED?
Antibiotics and vaccines can be used to prevent diphtheria. The vaccine for diphtheria is called DTap. It`s often administered in a single dose alongside the pertussis and tetanus vaccines. It takes five doses to fully protect against the DTap virus. Children receive it at the following ages trusted source:
1) 2 months.
2) 4 months.
3) 6 months.
4) 15-18 months.
5) 6 months.

A child may in extremely rare circumstances, develop an allergy to the immunization. This may cause lives or seizures that will eventually go away.
Since vaccines only remain effective for 10 years, your child will remain another vaccination around the age 12. it is advised that adults receive a single dose of a booster vaccine that include diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. You will thereafter receive the tetanus-diphtheria(TD) vaccine every 10 years. By following these instructions, you or your child may be shielded from future diphtheria.

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