It is an acute infectious disease caused by toxigenic strain of cornebacterium diphtheria. It has following features –
- Formation of grayish or yellowish membrane.
- Marked congestion, edema or local tissue destruction.
- Enlargement of regional lymph nodes.
- Signs and symptoms of toxaemia.
Agent : Corynebacterium diphtheria.
Source of infection : Cases – clinical and subclinical
Carriers – temporary and chronic
Infective material : · Nasopharyngeal secretions
- Discharges from lesions
- Contaminated fomites.
Period of infectivity : 14-28 days from onset of disease.
Age : Children below 5 years of age.
Environmental factors : Winters
Mode of transmission : · Droplet infection
- Cutaneous lesions
- Transmission of objects
Portal of entry : · Respiratory route
- Cuts, wounds, ulcers, umbilicus, eye,
Genitalia, middle ear.
Incubation period : 2-6 days
Types of Diphtheria : Laryngo-tracheal, pharyngotonsillar, nasal and cutaneous.
- Throat shows erythema
- A membrane over entire tonsil, posterior pharynx, soft palate.
- Membrane is blue-white.
- Attempt to remove leads to bleeding.
- Edema of sub-mandibular area gives ‘bull neck appearance’.
Diphtheria vaccine can be given singly or combined with pertusis and tetanus vaccine (DPT).
- Early detection of cases and carrier.
- Isolation of cases for 14 days.
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