An overview of the disease diphtheria and the medical definition

Treated by administration of diphtheria antitoxin, antibiotics, rest, and fluids. Obstruction of the airway may result in respiratory compromise and death. Inside the membrane, the bacteria produce an exotoxin, which is a poisonous secretion that causes the life-threatening symptoms of diphtheria.

Characteristic clinical signs include high fever, moist painful cough, severe dyspnea, nasal discharge, pain on external palpation of the larynx and a foul smell on the breath.

The incubation period is two to seven days, with an average of three days. The horse from which the antitoxin was derived died of tetanus. Diagnosis of the disease can be verified by identifying the causative organisms from throat cultures.

However, although outbreaks are rare, they still occur worldwide, especially in developed nations such as Germany among unvaccinated children, and Canada. The membrane may also be present in other body tissues. A specific infectious disease due to infection by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae and its highly potent toxin.

Successful treatment of human patients with horse-derived antitoxin began inafter production and quantification of antitoxin had been optimized. The most serious complications caused by the exotoxin are inflammations of the heart muscle myocarditis and damage to the nervous system.

Patients may have a severe coughhave difficulty breathing, or lose their voice completely. Reporting cases to public health authorities Reporting is necessary to track potential epidemics, to help doctors identify the specific strain of diphtheria, and to see if resistance to penicillin or erythromycin has developed.

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, and nausea. The development of a "bull neck" indicates a high level of exotoxin in the bloodstream. Persons who have not been immunized may get diphtheria at any age. Patients with difficulty swallowing can be fed through a tube inserted into the stomach through the nose.

The three-in-one vaccine is known as the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine. At one time it was a major childhood killer, but it is now rare in developed countries because of widespread immunization. In England, it was known as Boulogne sore throat, as it spread from France. The latest version of this vaccine is known as the DTaP vaccine for children and the Tdap vaccine for adolescents and adults.

It may also be spread by handkerchiefs, towels, eating utensils, or any other object used by an infected person or sprayed by his coughing or sneezing. Toxoid — A preparation made from inactivated exotoxin, used in immunization. Resources Books Chambers, Henry F. The doctor must first test the patient for sensitivity to animal serum.

The toxin can also cause nerve damage. Causes and symptoms The symptoms of diphtheria are caused by toxins produced by the diphtheria bacillus, Corynebacterium diphtheriae from the Greek for "rubber membrane". A so-called "acellular pertussis" vaccine aP is usually used since its release in the mids.


Rest, antibiotics, and general hygienic measures are used to combat the infection. In areas where diphtheria vaccination is standard, the disease is mainly a threat to unvaccinated or inadequately vaccinated people who travel internationally or have contact with people from less-developed countries.

Recovery is slow, but it is usually complete.Diphtheria is fatal in as many as 3 percent of those who get the disease. Prevention Before antibiotics were available, diphtheria was a common illness in young children. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and nose.

They’ll also ask you about your medical history and the symptoms you’ve been. Define diphtheria. diphtheria synonyms, diphtheria pronunciation, diphtheria translation, English dictionary definition of diphtheria. n. An acute infectious disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which infects mucous membranes of the throat, causing formation of a.

The current clinical case definition of diphtheria used by the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on both laboratory and clinical criteria. The disease may remain manageable, and breathing and swallowing are more difficult.

People in this stage should seek immediate medical attention. Diphtheria Definition Diphtheria is 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. Description Like many other upper respiratory diseases, diphtheria is most.


Medical Definition of Diphtheria Diphtheria: An acute infectious upper respiratory tract disease that affects the throat. It is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

An overview of the disease diphtheria and the medical definition
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