Diphtheria: What is the throat-clogging disease Diphtheria?

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What Is Diphtheria: Diphtheria is a serious infection, that can even cause the death of a person. Some such cases have been reported in Orissa. In this article, you can understand the symptoms, treatment, and prevention measures of diphtheria in easy language.

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Diphtheria cases in Odisha have raised concerns. In the past few weeks, 5 people have died and 18 cases of infection have been reported from this infectious disease in the state. 

Although the state health department has taken steps to run a vaccination campaign against diphtheria to prevent infection, you need to understand the important things about diphtheria for prevention. Especially if you live in Odisha or are planning to visit here.

What is diphtheria 

Diphtheria is a serious disease caused by a bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae. This bacteria attacks the nose, throat, and respiratory system. According to the Cleveland Clinic, this bacteria enters the body and releases a toxin that causes gray tissue to form in the throat. When this happens, there is a lot of difficulty in swallowing and breathing.

Symptoms of diphtheria

Fever

Cough

Sore throat

Difficulty breathing

Fatigue

Persistent runny nose

Swollen throat 

What is the risk of death from diphtheria?

The symptoms of diphtheria are mild in the beginning but can be completely cured with treatment. But if there is a delay in recognizing these symptoms and treatment, then this infection can become serious. According to the Pan American Health Organization, this disease is fatal in 5-10 percent of cases. Children are most at risk of this.

How does this disease spread?

Diphtheria infection also spreads through touch. Therefore, one should avoid touching contaminated objects, such as clothes or utensils, that have come in contact with droplets emitted by an infected person coughing or sneezing. 

Diphtheria prevention measures

The best way to prevent diphtheria is vaccination. Apart from this, regular hand washing and avoiding contaminated objects is also important. Maintain distance from the sick person and cover the nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing.

When to contact a doctor

Usually, the symptoms of diphtheria start appearing within 2-3 days of infection. In such a situation, if you notice symptoms like fever, sore throat, or difficulty in breathing, contact the doctor immediately. It is important to detect and treat diphtheria early, as delay can have serious consequences.