I have answered frequently
asked questions about Diphtheria.
Each question has information about it.
I. What is Diphtheria?
Diphtheria is a disease is that blocks breathing and swallowing. The bacteria can also cause heart failure and or paralysis leading to death. The bacteria comes in through your tonsils, nose, and throat. The bacteria multiplies and creates a membrane made of bacteria, dead cells, and a protein called fibrin. It also makes a toxin which spreads by blood to other tissues ,such as your heart and nerves, and leads to heart failure and paralysis. Most people cannot die from Diphtheria in the present but did in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
II. How is Diphtheria caught?
Diphtheria is highly contagious. It is caught from breathing in particles from a infected person when they sneeze or even talk. Infected people can get people infected for four weeks. Unimmunized people that have the greatest risk of getting Diphtheria are children under five and adults over sixty. You also have a greater risk if you live in crowded, unsanitary, conditions with a inadequate diet. Diphtheria was the leading cause of death of children in the twentieth century . It still occurs in other places. In 1993 and 1994 fifty thousand cases were reported in the former Soviet Union. If you know of any one that has Diphtheria or you have Diphtheria stay away from them and go to a doctor.
III. What are the symptoms of Diphtheria?
Symptoms appear two to four days after you are infected. You will feel a bad sore throat, mild fever, and swollen glands. Children have nausea, vomiting, chills, headache, and fever. There is also a thick coating of the nose, throat, and airway. Diphtheria is tested by throat or blood. If you have any of these symptoms go to the doctor immediately.
IV. How is Diphtheria treated?
Diphtheria is treated in the hospital. You are given an anti-toxin and kept isolated. Anyone that was exposed to you will be treated. You will be kept in the hospital for at least a few days because of isolation and to get it out of your system.
V. How can Diphtheria be prevented?
With a treatment most can recover and get better soon. It's not like the chicken pox and the measles so you can get it again. Best thing to do to prevent it is get vaccinated. You are given a vaccination at two, four, six, twelve, and eighteen months of age. You get a booster shot at four and six years of age. If you are over eleven you should get the vaccination every ten years. You get the vaccination with your tetanus and pertussis. Always get your vaccination and stay healthy.
I hope I have answered your questions.
Stay healthy and away from people who have Diphtheria. If you have any
other questions refer to your doctor or any number of nursing books that
have Diphtheria in them.
Izenburg, Neil. Human Diseases and Conditions. New York, New York: Charles Scriber's Sons, 2000.