Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection which affects the inside surface of your nose and throat. Its symptoms include a sore throat, fever, swollen glands and severe weakness. Due to infection, it creates a thick layer that covers the back of the throat that leads to blockage of the airway. Blocked airways cause difficulty in breathing.
Diphtheria is curable but in the advanced stage, it can be deadly too. It can also cause further serious medical complications such as heart failure, kidney failure, and damage to nervous system. In some cases even after the treatment, diphtheria can be deadly. This rate is high in children.
Its symptoms usually visible after two to three days after getting infected. It includes-
• A thick, gray layer covering your throat and tonsils
• A sore throat
• Hoarseness in voice
• Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck
• Difficulty in breathing
• Rapid breathing
• Nasal discharge
• Excessive saliva
It is caused by bacterium-Corynebacterium diphtheria.
It occurs among people with poor hygiene who live in crowded conditions.
It also spreads efficiently from the infected person when he sneezes.
It also spread by using contaminated stuff and household items such as utensils, towels or boys.
It can also happen by touching an infected wound.
People with weak immunity are at greater risk of getting diphtheria. The other risk factors include:
• Children under the age of 5
• People over age of 60
• Lack of up-to-date immunizations
• People who live in crowded or unsanitary conditions
• People traveling to an area where diphtheria is endemic.
If diphtheria left untreated it can lead to serious medical conditions:
• Shortness of breath
• Heart damage
• Nerve damage
• Kidney failure
• Sudden death
When to see a doctor-
Consult your doctor as soon as you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Diphtheria is preventable with timely immunization. The vaccine for diphtheria is called DTaP. It is given along with tetanus and pertussis vaccines. The DTaP vaccine is given to children in a series of five shots. It’s given to children at the ages of:
1) 2 months
2) 4 months
3) 6 months
4) 15 to 18 months
5) 4 to 6 years
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