What is it?

It is a bacterial infection caused by Corynebacterium Diphtheria

The bacteria produces a toxin that affects multiple organs of the body

This highly contagious illness mainly affects people living in crowded or unclean conditions

What are the symptoms?

Sore throat, a low-grade fever and/or swollen neck glands

A membrane may form in the nose and throat causing breathing and swallowing problems

Some individuals will experience much more serious symptoms and consequences such as double vision, slurred speech and shock, suffocation, paralysis, heart damage and death

Most people treated for diphtheria survive but recovery is often slow

As many as 10% of diphtheria cases are fatal

Diphtheria can also cause a highly contagious skin infection called coetaneous diphtheria

Symptoms include pain, redness and swelling at the infection site and sometimes ulcers

How can I contract diphtheria?

By inhaling bacteria coughed or sneezed into shared spaces by people already infected with the illness

You can also get it by touching objects they’ve touched or if you touch an infected wound

Some infected people have no symptoms

Where can I contract it?

Diphtheria is endemic in some parts of Africa, Central and South America, Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East and Eastern Europe

What vaccines are available?

There is no single diphtheria shot/vaccine

The diphtheria vaccine is always combined with the tetanus vaccine (Td)

The whooping cough vaccine is always combined with diphtheria and tetanus (TdaP)

Will I need a booster?

Yes

A routine booster is recommended for adults every 10 years

Adults who have not previously received the TdaP vaccine should get a single dose as a replacement for a Td booster to get whooping cough immunity

How can I prevent diphtheria?

Vaccination

If you think you’ve been exposed to someone who has diphtheria go see a doctor right away

The doctor will test you and may also give you a prescription for antibiotics

These antibiotics will help protect you from getting the disease

What is the treatment?

Antibiotics and the diphtheria antitoxin

Possible airway and cardiac monitoring in more severe cases

"The Burnaby location has very nice staff that makes your less than fun stay much better (who likes being stuck by one or more needles). They give vaccinations for basically anything that you could need wile out travelling the world. "
Mike G - Yelp

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