Diphtheria (Dif-Theer-Ee-A)


About Diphtheria (Dif-Theer-Ee-A)

What is Diphtheria?

It is a respiratory disease caused by bacteria and its toxins. Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. Its symptoms are a gradual onset of sore throat and low-grade fever.

How is Diphtheria transmitted?

It is spread by coughing and sneezing.

Why should I take the Diptheria vaccination?

Diphtheria brings about complications such as breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death. Hence the vaccine is recommended for anyone who has not taken it to prevent Diphtheria and complications that may follow.

Points to Note:

Laboratory diagnostic tests are not perfect and are not 100% accurate

  • We do not have a test for every disease or virus but most of those pathogens that are of public health importance or have long term implications on your health can be tested
  • No one single test can be used with absolute certainty to diagnose a disease. Often, we depend on a combination of tests to make a diagnosis
  • Sometimes, we have to resort to trial treatment or empiric treatment if investigative tests are inconclusive. If the patient makes a therapeutic response and feels better, we have achieved our goal
  • In PUO, we are looking for treatable causes and to rule out sinister causes eg. malignancies so that we do not miss opportunities for early treatment or intervention

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