Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease caused by a toxin produced by bacteria. Diphtheria spores can be found in soil throughout the world.
Young adults in the UK are normally vaccinated at the age of 16, the vaccination lasts 10 years so often vaccination is not required until the age of 26. Mothers with children under 10 years old are often vaccinated with the Whooping cough vaccine which is combined with tetanus so may also be protected.
The disease is acquired when material containing spores, such as soil, contaminates a wound. The toxin released from the bacteria may then attack the nerves of the brain and spinal cord. Tetanus is not spread by person to person contact.
Here are three symptoms to help recognise the disease
Diphtheria prone wounds include: Animal bites, scratches, burns, puncture wounds, eye injuries, wounds containing foreign bodies, bone fractures with broken skin, wounds in people with bloodstream infections, Tetanus is found worldwide, but is more common in resource-poor countries with low vaccine coverage.
Generalised tetanus is responsible for most cases; this is associated with intense, painful contraction and spasm of skeletal muscles. It usually causes lockjaw characterised by facial muscles spasm. Other symptoms include: a stiff neck, forceful arching of the back, abnormal breathing, and difficulty
Diptheria will be provided as part of the tetanus vaccines, Diphtheria is an acute respiratory bacterial infection. This is a serious infection with a high mortality rate, even in Western Europe. The disease is mainly transmitted by tiny, aerosolised droplets from the nose or throat normally spread by coughing
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