Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

Diphtheria is a contagious bacterial infection that is easily transmitted and often begins with flu like symptoms making it difficult to detect early, unlike flu however diphtheria can prove fatal if left untreated.

Symptoms of Diphtheria
Early treatment is essential to help prevent cardiac, respiratory and neurological complications. Some carriers of the bacteria can show no symptoms, while others may show any or all of the following symptoms:

Cause of Diphtheria
Diphtheria is caused by the pathogenic bacterium known as Corynebacterium diphthiae. Once a person is infected they can easily transmit the bacteria through close contact and via airborne respiratory droplets in particular by sneezing and coughing.

Areas Infected by Diphtheria
Diphtheria can be found in Europe, Asia and Central America.

Testing For Diphtheria
Blood, fluid and tissue tests are often used in diagnosis.

Preventing Diphtheria
Immunization is available and the best means of protection against the disease and involves three doses of the vaccine.

Treatment for Diphtheria
The use of the diphtheria antitoxin along with antibiotic treatment is usually successful as well as treating and carefully monitoring heart, lungs and kidneys and the individuals general symptoms.