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Doctor insights on: Diphtheria

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Diphtheria (Overview)

A potentially fatal, contagious disease that usually involves the nose, throat, and air passages, but may also infect the skin. Its most striking feature is the formation of a grayish membrane covering the tonsils and upper part of the throat.


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How does diphtheria spread

How does diphtheria spread

Droplet, skin disch: The diphtheria organisms are spread by respiratory tract droplets or by contact with discharge from skin lesions.

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Diphtheria (Overview)

A potentially fatal, contagious disease that usually involves the nose, throat, and air passages, but may also infect the skin. Its most striking feature is the formation of a grayish membrane covering the tonsils and upper part of the throat.


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I was diagnosed with diphtheria, how long before I am no longer contagious?

I was diagnosed with diphtheria, how long before I am no longer contagious?

4 days with abx: Untreated patients may continue to have infectious material in their secretions for 2-6 wks after primary infection. Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics are considered contageous fewer than 4 days.

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What are the tests for diphtheria?

DIPHTHERIA: The appearance of the membrane suggest th dx. Gram stain is positive to gram negative bacilli and send for culture for c. Diptheriae.

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How do I know if someone has diphtheria?

How do I know if someone has diphtheria?

You may not: Vaccinated persons may be asymptomatic carriers of the diphtheria germ or have a mild sore throat.Those with symptomatic respiratory disease develop symptoms over a few days & have a severe inflammation of the membranes in the back of the throat & nose. They can develop severe neck swelling, airway blockage & heart inflammation.

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What causes diphtheria?

What causes diphtheria?

C.diphtheriae strain: The germ corynebacterium diphtheriae is a bacteria that has a toxic strain that uses humans as it's only reservoir. It produces a variety of enzymes that allow it to penetrate and destroy cells or have toxic effects on the heart, kidneys & nerves.

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How should I treat diphtheria?

In many cases, YES: Otherwise, whoever has diphtheria can die, or while dying, can actively spread the disease to other people.

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Is there a treatment for diphtheria?

Is there a treatment for diphtheria?

Yes: Diptheria antitoxin given IV and antibiotics to kill off the infection while protecting the airway with mechanical ventillation.

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Can you tell me how to get rid of a rash from the diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine?

Can you tell me how to get rid of a rash from the diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine?

Rash: A rash caused by a DPT shot is usually transient and of little consequence. If the rash is itchy application of 1/2 percent hydrocortisone available over the counter can help

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Why are kids under 5 and adults over 60 at risk for diphtheria?

Diphtheria: Children under the age of 5, most specifically less than 6 months are most vulnerable due to lack of antibodies to counteract the disease. This is the most important reason why these infants should start receiving the vaccine as early as 6 weeks of age. The risk for diphtheria in adults over 60 is due to waning immunity. This is why receiving regular boosters every 10 years is important.

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How are vaccines made that prevent diphtheria?

How are vaccines made that prevent diphtheria?

Inactive: All diptheria containing vaccines are inactive, meaning the infectious agent has been altered so that it cannot cause disease, but can stimulate an immune response.

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How can you avoid diphtheria?

Get vaccinated: Humans are the only reservoir of contageous material. Since international travel is common, a contageous traveler, early in their illness, could spred the germ anywhere in the world. The germs are often spread in a cough or contaminated secretions. Fully immunized persons can acquire a mild sore throat & spred it to others.

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What is diphtheria?

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria: Diphtheria is a bacterial infection of the upper airway caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae. This disease was historically associated with severe illness and sometimes death, until the vaccine against it was developed in the early 1920's. Currently, immunization schedules including the DTaP vaccine have been tremendously successful in preventing this disease.

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What causes diphtheria?

C.diphtheriae strain: The germ corynebacterium diphtheriae is a bacteria that has a toxic strain that uses humans as it's only reservoir. It produces a variety of enzymes that allow it to penetrate and destroy cells or have toxic effects on the heart, kidneys & nerves.

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How serious is diphtheria?

Very serious for...: Unimmunized individuals. Case fatalities ranged from 3% to 23% during the epidemic in the former soviet union during the 1990s. Fully immunized individuals experience mild sore throat.

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How does diphtheria spread

Droplet, skin disch: The diphtheria organisms are spread by respiratory tract droplets or by contact with discharge from skin lesions.

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How can you avoid diphtheria?

Get vaccinated: Humans are the only reservoir of contageous material. Since international travel is common, a contageous traveler, early in their illness, could spred the germ anywhere in the world. The germs are often spread in a cough or contaminated secretions. Fully immunized persons can acquire a mild sore throat & spred it to others.

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How can people get diphtheria?

Diphtheria: This is an acute upper respiratory tract infection, but sometimes it infects the skin. Hippocrates first described the disease in the 4th century BC and major epidemics swept through Europe in the 17th century. It was known as 'the strangling angel of children'. it spreads through droplet infection. The means by respiratory secretions (sneezing, coughing)

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