Its mode of transmission is through person-to-person contact or through contact with objects that have the bacteria on them-Diphtheria

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Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. It is highly contagious; however it is preventive through the use of vaccines. It can cause severe damage to the kidneys, nervous system, and heart. It is fatal in about 3 percent of cases.

Causes

It is caused by Corynebacterium diphtheria. Its mode of transmission is through person-to-person contact or through contact with objects that have the bacteria on them, such as a cup or used tissue. Close contact with infected person when they sneeze, cough, or blow their nose can also make one to be infected.

The bacteria releases dangerous substances called toxins. The toxins spread through the bloodstream and often cause a thick, gray coating to form in the:

Nose

Throat

Tongue

Airway

In some cases, these toxins can also damage other organs, including the heart, brain and kidneys. This can lead to potentially life-threatening complications, such as Myocarditis, paralysis, or kidney failure.

Risk Factors for Diphtheria

Those who have higher risk of contracting diphtheria are:

Incomplete vaccinations

Visited countries with no immunizations

Suffer from immune system disorder, such as AIDS

Habiting in an unclean or crowded conditions

Symptoms

It appears within two to five days after the infection occurs in some while others people do not experience any symptoms. The common symptoms are:

Thick, gray coating on the throat and tonsils

Fever

Chills

Swollen glands in the neck

Loud barking cough

Sore throat

Bluish skin

Drooling

Discomfort

Difficulty breathing or swallowing

Changes in vision

Slurred speech

Signs of shock, such as pale and cold skin

Sweating

Rapid heartbeat

Diagnosis

Physical examination to check for swollen lymph nodes

Information from medical history and the symptoms you have been having

Throat culture

Treatment

Antitoxin injection to counteract the toxin produced by the bacteria

 



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