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What is diphtheria and what does it consist of?

Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease that causes respiratory problems and damage to some organs such as the brain or heart. Find out more about her.

Diphtheria is an acute infection (specifically an infectious disease) caused by a bacterium known as Corynebacterium diphtheria. This bacterium is also called Klebs-Löffler bacillus, discovered in 1884 by the pathologist Edwin Krebs and the bacteriologist Friedrich Loffler, and is characterized by being a non-encapsulated, non-sporulation and non-motile bacillus, which forms cultures with branched clusters.

This bacillus causes an infection that mainly affects the upper respiratory tract (mainly nose and throat), although it can also cause damage to the heart and brain. The infection of the throat produces a kind of pseudo membrane -or covering- that is dark gray, fibrous and hard, capable of obstructing the respiratory tract. However, in certain cases diphtheria may first infect the skin, causing skin lesions.

It spreads through the droplets we breathe, for example from a cough or sneeze from an infected person or from someone who carries the bacteria but does not actually have any symptoms.

Once a person is infected, the bacteria tend to produce a series of truly dangerous substances, called toxins (in this case known as diphtheria toxins), which spread through the bloodstream to other organs, such as the case of the brain or the heart, causing damage.

These symptoms usually appear between 1 to 7 days after the bacteria has entered the body of the infected person, and can cause a series of specific symptoms such as: sore throat, skin ulcers, breathing problems, discoloration of the bluish skin, chills, croup-like cough, drooling when airway obstruction is about to occur, fever, hoarseness, and pain on swallowing.

As a result of widespread vaccination or immunization of children, diphtheria is actually rare in many parts of the world today.

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HealthyWire Staff
HealthyWire Staffhttps://healthywire.com/
This blog also features articles on natural living, fitness, healthy children, inspiration, and nutritious food and recipes. HealthyWire assists you in building a naturally healthy, whole-family environment. The site features articles on a variety of topics, including reduction of weight, men’s and women’s health, yoga, healthcare, fitness & exercise, diseases & prevention, healthy living and wellbeing, lifestyle, and much more.

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