April 13, 2010

All You Need to Know About Diptheria

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

What is Diptheria?

These days one does not hear too much about diphtheria considering vaccination has been very effective in stemming this disease. Usually, DTaP immunization is the one used nowadays since this vaccine is effective in fighting two other diseases besides diphtheria – namely tetanus as well as pertussis. This vaccine is part of routine childcare and is listed in the vaccination schedule listed by the authorities. In fact, such a regular immunization schedule has all but eliminated diphtheria. Usually, such cases are exceptionally rare such that in America alone, one will barely find five cases of this disease in the three hundred and sixty five days of the year. However, bear in mind that diphtheria is an acute disease caused by the infection of the bacteria scientifically known as Corynebacterium diphtheriae. If you and your child have had your immunization shot, diphtheria is typically something you will not have to worry about. However, when dealing with people from places where this infectious disease is still very much prevalent, one has to be careful. This issue becomes important when it comes to things like making sure that a child you are adopting from such an area gets all the necessary vaccinations or gets treatment for the same. Symptoms could be generic like fever, skin lesions, hoarseness, sore throat and chills. There could also be peculiar symptoms such as a barking cough, bloody drainage from one’s nose, breathing difficulties and stridor or none at all. The disease could spread through contact or exposure to droplets containing Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Contaminated foods are also responsible for the spread of diphtheria as are objects that have been contaminated.


Usually, this condition is treated by plenty of fluids administered using IV and bed rest in addition to other medical care. Since diphtheria is both rare and highly infectious, your doctor should be consulted if you find symptoms of diphtheria or if you have had exposure to the bacteria. Remember that symptoms of a number of other conditions could be mistakenly thought to be diphtheria symptoms so the health care practitioner has to be consulted. The doctor will be able to accurately diagnose the presence of Corynebacterium diphtheriae and recommend a comprehensive treatment plan. The disease is very serious so treatment for diphtheria should being at once in even suspected cases instead of waiting for results of the tests to arrive. This is because although mild cases are seen, fatalities are possible in about 1 diphtheria case in 10.