Diphtheria is caused by a bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheria, this bacteria or a toxic produces a toxin that harms or destroys a human body tissues and organs. According to Dr. Kenneth Todar diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane called a pseudomembrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity. Diphtheria toxin produced by Corynebacterium diphtheria that cause myocarditis, polyneuritis, and other systemic toxic effects. He added that diphtheria is a contagious disease spread by direct physical contact or breathing aerosolized secretions of infected individuals. Once quite common, diphtheria has largely been eradicated in developed nations through wide-spread use of the DPT vaccine. Another explanation about diphtheria written by Dr. Charles Patrick Davis, he stated that diphtheria is an infectious disease caused by the Corynebacterium species of bacteria and is most often associated with a sore throat, fever, and the development of an adherent membrane on the tonsils and/or nasopharynx or the lining between the nose and the throat. Serious infections can affect other organ systems such as the heart and the nervous system. In addition to the persons who are infected with diphtheria may also experience skin infections. It affects people of any age, but it often affects children who does not undergo immunizations. The exotoxin produced by the bacteria has a big part in causing diphtheria’s more severe symptoms. Humans are the only creature that can be infected by this disease, it can be transmitted from one person to another via close physical contact and respiratory contact with the discharge from an infected person’s eyes, nose, throat or skin that can cause an infection to the nasopharynx which is the lining between the nose and the throat which may cause difficulties in breathing and could lead to death.
There are two types of diphtheria, the respiratory and the cutaneous. According to the Department of Health in New York, respiratory diphtheria shows as a sore throat with a low-grade fever and a membrane attached to the tonsils, pharynx, or nose. Neck swelling is usually present in severe disease. Respiratory diphtheria can lead to severe breathing problems, heart failure, blood disorders, paralysis, coma and even death. The another type of diphtheria, cutaneous diphtheria cutaneous diphtheria, although rare, is most often seen among persons with poor hygiene who live in crowded conditions. Skin infections with diphtheria are still common in tropical countries and are even more contagious than respiratory diphtheria. Skin wounds are characterized by a scaling rash, sores or by blisters which can occur anywhere on the body. Skin wounds may be painful, swollen and reddened. The skin infection is treated by thorough cleansing with soap and water and appropriate antibiotics.
Although this disease are rare nowadays with the help of vaccinations it could still strike anywhere, anytime and to anyone. This disease, we have to treat this seriously as it threats someone’s life seriously and dangerously once infected. We have to be aware of our surroundings, we have to learn how to discipline ourselves for our health’s sake. There’s this saying that prevention is better than cure; and there is a single yet most effective way to prevent this disease to infect us, it is to maintain the highest possible level of immunization in the community. And another way is to maintain the cleanliness, the proper hygiene.