Know more about Diphtheria- Symptoms, Causes and Treatments


“Come September” is not just a song which enjoyed runaway success in its heydays It serves as a reminder of the month of September that sits on that cusp of the weather cycle, which sees summer almost on its way out and the on-set of winters. And winter comes marching in, with its own baggage of ailments such as cold, flu, dry cough etc,.

Diphtheria, on a far more serious scale, is one such ailment which may not be so winter-specific, but may exhibit a higher propensity for occurrence in winters on account of its symptoms.

Diphtheria Causes and Symptoms

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection caused by Corynebacterium Diphtheriae, compounded by bad hygiene and overcrowded living conditions. It masks the common cold- gone hay-wire syndrome, but with much graver consequences, as it produces extremely harmful toxins which destroy the healthy tissues in the upper respiratory system.

Diphtheria combines  characteristics of  both an infectious and a contagious disease,  as it is transmitted through droplets or sneeze of an infected person as well as through human contact. There is evidence to prove its zoonotic credentials, as cases have been reported where it  has travelled from animals to humans.

The spread of this malaise is fairly gradual, with fever at sub 101 degrees Fahrenheit  levels. The common manifestation of Diphtheria is sore throat, a grey or white or bluish patch in the throat, gray pseudo membrane over the nose and throat, painful swallowing, bull neck, blood stained nasal discharge, fast heart rate, a feeling of fatigue, difficulty in breathing and  barking cough caused by blocked airways.

The skin through lesions is yet another manifestation of Diphtheria symptoms. This is, however, pre-dominant in the sun–tropical region.

Diphtheria treatment  

diphtheria treatment and prevention

The cure is through an immediate Doctor consult and a strong dose of Doctor-prescribed antibiotics as it progresses to attack the heart and the kidneys.While the developed nations have been proactive in stemming this disease through well coordinated Diphtheria prevention immunisation programmes, the underdeveloped nations have been known to suffer the most.

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 Image Credit: Flickr by DFID - UK Department f is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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