Body CareHealth TipsHealth TrendsHealth UpdatesOral Care Advice

Diphtheria Information

Diphtheria is a serious infection caused by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae that make toxin. Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. Although it spreads easily from one person to another, It can lead to difficulty breathing, heart rhythm problems, and even death. Diphtheria can be prevented through the use of vaccines.

How it is spread from a person to another

Diphtheria bacteria spread from person to person, usually through respiratory droplets, like from coughing or sneezing. People can also get sick from touching infected open sores or ulcers.

Those at increased risk of getting sick include:

  • People in the same household
  • People with a history of frequent, close contact with the patient
  • People directly exposed to secretions from the suspected infection site (e.g. mouth, skin) of the patient.

Signs and symptoms of Diphtheria

Symptoms of diphtheria depend on the body part that is affected. People who are exposed to diphtheria usually start having symptoms in 2–5 days if they get sick. Diphtheria can infect the respiratory tract (parts of the body involved in breathing) and skin.

The bacteria most commonly infect the respiratory system, which includes parts of the body involved in breathing. When the bacteria get into and attach to the lining of the respiratory system, it can cause:

  • Weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Mild fever
  • Swollen glands in the neck

The bacteria make a toxin that kills healthy tissues in the respiratory system.

The bacteria can also infect the skin, causing open sores or ulcers. However, diphtheria skin infections rarely result in severe disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Diphtheria in Mouth

DTaP Vaccine and it uses on diphtheria infection 

The DTaP vaccine is a combination vaccine that protects against three serious bacterial diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). It is typically administered to children in a series of five doses, usually given at 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months of age, with a booster shot at 4-6 years old. DTaP stands for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis.

  • Diphtheria: A bacterial infection caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, diphtheria can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death if left untreated. The diphtheria vaccine component of DTaP helps the body develop immunity against the toxin produced by the bacterium.
  • Tetanus: Caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds and produces a toxin that affects the nervous system, leading to muscle stiffness and spasms, particularly of the jaw muscles (lockjaw). The tetanus vaccine component of DTaP provides protection against tetanus infection.
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough): Caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, pertussis is highly contagious and can cause severe coughing fits, sometimes with a characteristic “whooping” sound, along with vomiting and exhaustion. The pertussis vaccine component of DTaP helps prevent pertussis infection and its complications.

The DTaP vaccine is an essential part of childhood immunization schedules and is highly effective at preventing these serious diseases. Like all vaccines, it may cause mild side effects such as redness or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever, or fussiness, but serious side effects are rare.

Read Also

Insights on Causes of Breathing Problems

What you Need to Know about Tuberculosis 

Treatment and Control of Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection that primarily affects the throat and upper respiratory tract. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent serious complications and transmission to others. 

Here’s a comprehensive overview of the treatment and control measures for diphtheria:

1. Antibiotics: Antibiotics, such as penicillin or erythromycin, are the mainstay of treatment for diphtheria. They help eliminate the bacteria causing the infection and prevent the production of diphtheria toxin, which can cause severe complications.

2. Antitoxin: In severe cases, diphtheria antitoxin may be administered to neutralize the diphtheria toxin circulating in the bloodstream. This helps prevent further damage to tissues and organs.

3. Supportive Care: Patients with diphtheria may require supportive care to manage symptoms and complications. This can include oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids, and respiratory support in cases of airway obstruction.

4. Isolation and Quarantine: Infected individuals should be isolated to prevent the spread of diphtheria to others. Close contacts, including household members and healthcare workers, may require post-exposure prophylaxis with antibiotics to prevent secondary cases.

5. Vaccination: Routine vaccination with the DTaP vaccine is the most effective way to prevent diphtheria. Vaccination not only protects individuals from diphtheria but also helps maintain herd immunity, reducing the overall incidence of the disease in the population.

6. Public Health Measures: Public health authorities may implement measures such as active surveillance, contact tracing, and vaccination campaigns to control outbreaks of diphtheria and prevent its spread within communities.

7. Health Education: Educating the public about the importance of vaccination, basic hygiene practices (such as hand-washing), and early recognition of symptoms can help prevent diphtheria transmission and improve treatment outcomes.

Overall combination of prompt diagnosis, appropriate treatment, vaccination, and public health interventions is crucial for the effective control of diphtheria and prevention of its complications.

Note: Signs and symptoms of Diphtheria, should be report to the Health departments to investigate each case of diphtheria to identify all close contacts and make sure they receive the right preventive measures.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button