Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that most often affects the nose and throat. It’s easily spread through coughing and sneezing. The mortality rate for diphtheria is 5-10%. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to preventing complications and death.
Diphtheria is caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. It’s spread through close contact with an infected person usually through coughing and sneezing. The bacteria can also spread through sharing cups or utensils with an infected person.
Diphtheria symptoms usually appear 2-5 days after exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms may include:
-Swollen glands in the neck
-Gray or white patches on the tonsils throat or nose
-Swollen ankles feet or legs
If not treated diphtheria can cause serious complications including:
Diphtheria is diagnosed based on symptoms and a physical exam. A swab of the throat or nose can be taken to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for diphtheria usually involves a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics help to kill the bacteria and prevent further spread of the infection. In severe cases hospitalization may be necessary.
Prevention of diphtheria is through vaccination. The diphtheria vaccine is given as part of the routine childhood immunization schedule. It’s also given to adults who haven’t been vaccinated or who are at increased risk of exposure such as health care workers.
What is the mortality rate of diphtheria?
Answer: The mortality rate of diphtheria is 5-10%.
How is diphtheria spread?
Answer: Diphtheria is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions or through contact with contaminated objects.
What are the symptoms of diphtheria?
Answer: The symptoms of diphtheria include a thick gray coating on the back of the throat fever and swelling of the neck.
How long does it take for symptoms of diphtheria to appear?
Answer: Symptoms of diphtheria usually appear 2-5 days after exposure.
How long is a person with diphtheria contagious?
Answer: A person with diphtheria is contagious for as long as they are sick.
How is diphtheria treated?
Answer: Diphtheria is treated with antibiotics.
Can diphtheria be prevented?
Answer: Diphtheria can be prevented through vaccination.
What is the diphtheria vaccine?
Answer: The diphtheria vaccine is a shot that is given as part of the DTaP vaccine.
How often is the diphtheria vaccine given?
Answer: The diphtheria vaccine is given to children at 2 4 and 6 months of age and then again at 15-18 months and 4-6 years of age.
What are the side effects of the diphtheria vaccine?
Answer: The side effects of the diphtheria vaccine are usually mild and include pain and redness at the injection site fever and fussiness.
What are the symptoms of diphtheria in infants?
Answer: The symptoms of diphtheria in infants include a thick gray coating on the back of the throat fever and swelling of the neck.
How is diphtheria diagnosed in infants?
Answer: Diphtheria is diagnosed in infants through a physical examination and a swab of the affected area.
How is diphtheria treated in infants?
Answer: Diphtheria is treated in infants with antibiotics.
What is the mortality rate of diphtheria in infants?
Answer: The mortality rate of diphtheria in infants is 5-10%.
Can diphtheria be prevented in infants?
Answer: Diphtheria can be prevented in infants through vaccination.