What is Diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract, which is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium Diphtheriae. It affects the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Diphtheria can also be caused by getting in physical contact with the infected person.

What are the variants of Diphtheria?

There are only two types of Diphtheria:

  • Respiratory Diphtheria: It only involves the nose, throat and tonsils

  • Coetaneous Diphtheria: It only involves the skin

How does Diphtheria spread?

It is basically transmitted from person to person through a close contact with the infected persons nose, throat, skin or eyes. It also spreads if the infected person sneezes or coughs. It is also transmitted if a person occasionally handles an infected person’s used tissues, drinking water from unwashed glasses or also from shared household items like towels or toys.

What are the signs and symptoms of Diphtheria?

The symptoms of Diphtheria usually occur 1-7 days after the bacteria has entered the body. The symptoms of Diphtheria include:

  • Sore throat

  • Swollen glands in the neck

  • Breathing problems, includes fast breathing, difficulty in breathing

  • Fever and Chills

  • Painful sensation while swallowing

  • Bluish coloration of the skin

  • Barking cough

  • Gray membrane covering the throat and tonsils

The skin Diphtheria affects the skin, causing redness and swelling which is associated with other skin infections. It usually occurs among the people who live in crowded conditions or with poor hygiene.

Who are more prone to getting infected with Diphtheria?
  • Adults and children who do not take immunizations regularly

  • People living in unhygienic conditions

  • People living in crowded conditions

  • People who do not have a strong immune system

  • People who travel to an area where Diphtheria is endemic

Is Diphtheria curable?

Yes Diphtheria is curable and treatable with vaccines.

Who should be consulted if a person shows symptoms of Diphtheria?

One should consult a Paediatrician or a General Physician.

Which lifestyle and home remedies are recommended to the person suffering from Diphtheria?

The person suffering from Diphtheria requires lot of bed rest to recover from the disease. If the heart is affected, any physical exertion should be avoided. Until full recovery, bed rest is a must. To prevent the disease from spreading, strict isolation is a must too. Hands should be washed regularly by everyone in the house to prevent the spread of infection. Nutrition through fluids is also recommended as the person suffering from the disease faces difficulty in swallowing. To prevent a recurrence, a full course of treatment is highly recommended.

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