Is diphtheria a virus?

Is diphtheria a virus?

Diphtheria is a serious infection caused by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae that make a toxin (poison). It is the toxin that can cause people to get very sick. Diphtheria bacteria spread from person to person, usually through respiratory droplets, like from coughing or sneezing.

How was diphtheria stopped?

Since the 1980s authorities worldwide have managed to almost completely eradicate diphtheria by systematically vaccinating all young children with a combined vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and polio, called DTP3.

Can we eradicate diphtheria?

While improved coverage of children in developing countries with diphtheria toxoid has led to progressive decreases in diphtheria; eradication is unlikely in the foreseeable future and gaps in immunity among adult population exist or are developing in many other countries.

When was diphtheria vaccine developed?

Diphtheria toxoid was developed in the early 1920s but was not widely used until the early 1930s. It was incorporated with tetanus toxoid and pertussis vaccine and became routinely used in the 1940s.

How does diphtheria affect the body?

Diphtheria can infect the respiratory tract (parts of the body involved in breathing) and skin. In the respiratory tract, it causes a thick, gray coating to build up in the throat or nose. This coating can make it hard to breathe and swallow. Diphtheria skin infections can cause open sores or shallow ulcers.

Does diphtheria affect the brain?

This undoubtedly is true of most cases of the disease with neurologic complications. However, the central nervous system is not always spared in diphtheria, even though many cases with neurologic manifestations have shown no anatomic changes in the brain.

Who is at risk for diphtheria?

People who are at increased risk of catching diphtheria include: Children and adults who don’t have up-to-date vaccinations. People living in crowded or unsanitary conditions. Anyone who travels to an area where diphtheria infections are more common.

Which organ is affected by diphtheria?

Which organ of the body does diphtheria primarily affect?

Diphtheria (dif-THEER-e-uh) is a serious bacterial infection that usually affects the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.

Does diphtheria cause kidney damage?

Other complications of respiratory diphtheria are caused by the diphtheria toxin released in the blood. This leads to heart or kidney failure and nerve problems.

How does the body react to diphtheria?

Damage Response Framework Fever, sore throat, and nasal discharge will develop first with an occasional loss of appetite. The lymph nodes in the neck region will continue to swell due to the infection.

What are the complications of diphtheria?


  • Airway blockage.
  • Damage to the heart muscle (myocarditis)
  • Nerve damage (polyneuropathy)
  • Loss of the ability to move (paralysis)
  • Kidney failure.

What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

You’re more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating. A severe decrease in kidney function can lead to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood. This can cause people to feel tired, weak and can make it hard to concentrate. Another complication of kidney disease is anemia, which can cause weakness and fatigue.

What are the symptoms of diphtheria?

Symptoms. Bacteria that cause diphtheria can get into and attach to the lining of the respiratory system, which includes parts of the body that help you breathe. The poison destroys healthy tissues in the respiratory system. Within two to three days, the dead tissue forms a thick, gray coating that can build up in the throat or nose.

Why is my skin dry and itchy with kidney disease?

Dry and itchy skin can be a sign of the mineral and bone disease that often accompanies advanced kidney disease, when the kidneys are no longer able to keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in your blood.

What are the symptoms of a kidney infection in a child?

Symptoms of a kidney infection may include chills; fever; and frequent, painful urination. A child younger than 2 years old with a kidney infection may only have a high fever.