Diphtheria is a severe bacterial infection that disturbs the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. It spreads easily from one person to another and through contact with other objects that have bacteria on them, such as a used tissue or a cup. It can be easily prevented with the help of vaccines.
Diphtheria can be caused by the sneezing, coughing or nose blowing of an infected person. Even if an infected person doesn’t show any symptoms or signs, they can still transmit the bacterial infection for up to six weeks during the initial infection.
You should call your doctor right away if you believe you have Diphtheria. If this disease is left untreated, it can cause serious damage to the nervous system, kidneys and heart. About 3 percent of the cases result in fatalities.
Common symptoms of Diphtheria.
Diphtheria symptoms and signs usually begin two or five days after the person becomes infected and the symptoms include a sore throat hoarseness, a thick gray membrane that covers your tonsils and throat, nasal discharge, malaise, fever, chills, difficulty in breathing and rapid breathing. In some people, it causes mild illness and shows no signs or symptoms.
How to prevent Diphtheria.
Diphtheria is preventable with the use of vaccines and antibiotics. The name of the vaccination is DTaP. It is usually given in a single shot along with vaccines called tetanus and pertussis.
Treatment of Diphtheria infection.
The first step of treating Diphtheria is through an antitoxin injection. This is used to offset the toxin produced by the bacteria. You should make your doctor aware if you are allergic to antitoxin. Your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics such as erythromycin and penicillin to help clear the infection. You might have to stay in the hospital in order to avoid passing the infection to others.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This sections answers some of the most common questions regarding Diphtheria.
Q. Is it curable?
When treated in the right way, it can be cured with the help of antitoxin and antibiotic.
Q. Is it life-threatening?
In cases that go beyond the throat infection, Diphtheria toxin can spread through the bloodstream can lead to potentially life-threatening complications or can affect other organs such as the heart and kidney.
Q. Is it contagious?
After receiving the antibiotics within 48 hours, people infected with this disease are no more contagious.
Q. Is it possible to take other vaccines at the same time?
Yes, this vaccine can be combined with any other vaccine.
Q. Is it recommended for pregnant women?
It is not recommended for pregnant women to take this vaccine.
Q. At what age should it be taken?
Adults should take this vaccine at the gap of every 10 years.