Vaccination The best method to avoid diphtheria is to stay up to date on recommended immunizations. To prevent diphtheria, four vaccinations are used in the United States: DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td. Each of these vaccinations protects against diphtheria and tetanus; DTaP and Tdap also protect against pertussis (whooping cough).
The vaccination schedule for childhood diphtheria and tetanus protection is as follows: DTaP - two doses given at least 28 days apart Tdap - one dose given at some point during the first year of life DT - single dose at age 2-5 years or when vaccine series is completed if earlier than 5 years old Td - single dose at some point during the first year of life
For adults, a booster shot of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids is recommended every 10 years to protect against these diseases. A vaccine called TD known as a combined diphtheria-tetanus vaccine is available for people who may be at risk for these diseases but not enough to require regular shots: patients undergoing chemotherapy, people with severe heart disease, those who have recently received cardiac surgery, and others.
People who have had their spleen removed can no longer make antibodies through vaccination so they must remain protected by keeping up to date with vaccines.
Diphtheria remains a problem in many countries without adequate vaccination coverage.
Vaccines Containing Diphtheria Toxoid, Tetanus Toxoid, and Pertussis Antigen Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines are available in a variety of formulations and are administered in 0.5 mL doses (see Table 10-1). DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td are the four most popular combination vaccinations. The term "toxoid" means "a preparation of toxins." Thus, a diphtheria vaccine contains antigens derived from the toxin produced by the bacterium that causes diphtheria; a tetanus vaccine contains antigens derived from the toxin produced by the bacterium that causes tetanus; and a pertussis vaccine contains antigens derived from the bacteria that cause whooping cough.
Diphtheria is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Diphtheria produces symptoms of inflammation of the mucous membranes, such as those in the nose and throat. This can lead to problems with breathing (dyspnea) and swallowing ( dysphagia ). Left untreated, this disease could be fatal.
The only known cure for diphtheria is antibiotics. However, because C. diphtheriae can live inside the body's cells, antibiotics must be given orally or by injection. If not treated, more serious conditions may develop such as heart failure, which can be fatal.
Diphtheria vaccination is very effective in preventing diphtheria.
In the United States, two vaccinations are available to help prevent whooping cough: DTaP and Tdap. These immunizations protect against tetanus and diphtheria as well. A third vaccine, the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), also protects against these diseases.
The best way to avoid getting sick with whooping cough is by getting vaccinated. The vaccination schedule for whooping cough includes a series of shots over a period of months or years.
Besides getting vaccinated, keeping away from people who are sick helps prevent whooping cough. If you do get sick, stay home from work or school until at least 10 days after you feel better. Doing this will help others know that you don't have to be around other people if you don't want to.
Whooping cough is a serious disease that can lead to death. Getting vaccinated not only protects you but also those who need it most - your children.
According to studies, diphtheria toxoid-containing immunizations protect virtually all persons (95 out of 100) for about ten years. Because protection diminishes with age, people must obtain a Td or Tdap booster injection every ten years to remain protected. Children under five years old and adults over fifty need more frequent injections.
The duration of protection from one dose of tetanus vaccine is ten years. However, protection from the other vaccines in this series decreases significantly after five years; therefore, additional doses are needed to maintain immunity. Adults who have not received the full course of vaccinations may not be immune to these diseases. Anyone who believes they may be at risk for these illnesses should consult with their doctor about receiving the necessary shots.
Why should my child be immunized against diphtheria? It provides protection against diphtheria, which can be fatal, as well as tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis). It protects your kid from getting a thick coating at the back of the nose or throat caused by diphtheria, which can make breathing or swallowing difficult. This in turn prevents your child from developing these severe symptoms.
Who is at risk of getting diphtheria? Anyone who may come into contact with the saliva or nasal discharge of an infected person is at risk. This includes family members, friends, and staff members at places such as daycare centers and schools. If you are not immunized and come into contact with someone who is infected but not yet sick, you could get diphtheria too. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being around people who are sick and to not try to treat symptoms that might occur after coming into contact with saliva or nasal discharge.
Children under the age of 5 years old are particularly at risk of becoming ill if they are not vaccinated. The younger a child is when first exposed to the diphtheria virus, the more likely it is that they will develop full immunity. Once children reach about 6 months old, their immune systems are capable of producing antibodies against the diphtheria virus.
For infants, there is no evidence that supports giving vaccinations simultaneously instead of separately.
Diphtheria cannot be contracted via the vaccination. Diphtheria is preventable with safe and efficient vaccinations. Nose, throat, eyes, and/or skin lesions of an infected individual can spread the disease.
Diphtheria therapy today is utilizing diphtheria antitoxin to prevent the toxin produced by the bacteria from causing harm to the body. This medication is critical for diphtheria respiratory infections, although it is rarely utilized for diphtheria skin infections. Antibiotics are used to destroy and eliminate germs. With appropriate treatment, most people with diphtheria can be cured.
There are two types of diphtheria antitoxin: whole cell and purified protein. Both are administered intravenously. Whole cell antitoxin must be given immediately after diagnosis because it contains the bacteria that cause diphtheria and their toxins. The antibodies in this product bind to these organisms and reduce their ability to cause more damage. It is important to receive this vaccine before you are exposed to the diphtheria virus because it will take about two weeks for the antibody level in your system to reach maximum effectiveness.
The use of diphtheria antitoxin to treat existing infections was common practice until the mid-20th century. Today, this treatment is only used in very rare cases when a person develops symptoms of diphtheria even after receiving the full course of vaccination. In these situations, another dose of antitoxin is given along with antibiotics.
Diphtheria can be cured with proper treatment. Without treatment, diphtheria can lead to complications such as heart failure, which may require surgery to correct.