Diphtheria is a serious and extremely contagious infectious disease caused by the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheriae.
Typically responsible for the formation of a gray-black mass in the patient's throat, diphtheria causes breathing problems, fever, swollen lymph nodes in the throat, weakness, cough, painful swallowing, sore throat, hoarseness, rhinorrhea etc. Furthermore, if not treated properly and in time, it can produce serious complications, such as: respiratory failure, heart damage, neurological damage and / or kidney damage.
The diagnosis of diphtheria is almost always based on a simple physical examination and anamnesis.
To be carried out in the hospital, the standard treatment involves the administration of the so-called diphtheria antitoxin, associated with an ad hoc antibiotic treatment.
Today, thanks to the advent of the vaccine and state-of-the-art vaccination programs, diphtheria is much less common than it once was; the only geographic areas where it still poses a danger are underdeveloped countries, where hygiene leaves something to be desired and medical care is scarce.
What is diphtheria?
Diphtheria is an infectious disease of bacterial origin, extremely contagious, which causes a characteristic acute inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat (or pharynx), larynx and, sometimes, even the trachea.
What makes diphtheria unique in its kind is the formation - at the level of the throat - of a thick gray-black mass, which tends to prevent the passage of air, thus compromising respiration (the more the mass is positioned towards the trachea , the greater the likelihood of breathing difficulties).