5 doctors weighed in:

How do I know if someone has diphtheria?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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David Escobar
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Various Symptoms

The only definitive diagnosis is via a bacterial culture to see if the causative agent is present.
However, various symptoms of diphtheria include a barking cough, blood discharge from the nose, bluish discoloration of the skin, difficulty breathing, fever, and a gnarly looking gray/black covering in the back of the throat. Diphtheria is very rare in our part of the world due to vaccinations.

In brief: Various Symptoms

The only definitive diagnosis is via a bacterial culture to see if the causative agent is present.
However, various symptoms of diphtheria include a barking cough, blood discharge from the nose, bluish discoloration of the skin, difficulty breathing, fever, and a gnarly looking gray/black covering in the back of the throat. Diphtheria is very rare in our part of the world due to vaccinations.
David Escobar
David Escobar
Answer assisted by David Escobar, Medical Student
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