Diphtheria is a disease that is associated with the colder months of the year. Prominent in its existence, diphtheria can be kept under control with the help of vaccination. A good implementation of vaccination program can be very beneficial in limiting this problem. As an example, one can refer to the United States of America wherein, the number of cases pertaining to diphtheria is negligible. This has been made possible with the collaborative efforts of the medical institutions and the awareness generated amongst the citizens with the help of mass media and educational institutions.
Medically, the cause of diphtheria is the bacteria named Corynebacterium. This bacterium is responsible for releasing a toxin leading to respiratory problems. Further analysis shows diphtheria is contagious and spreads though sneezing or coughing. At certain geographical locations, this can be the reason for transmission. The symptoms associated with it are the ones associated with cold.
Some of the many symptoms are fever accompanied by a sore throat and some coughing. Apart from these commonly noticeable ones, we have cases where rapid breathing as in the case of asthma, discharge of fluid from nose (blood and water). Swelling in the neck area due to congestion in the airway can be seen in some. The best way to medically confirm diphtheria is by examining the throat. The presence of a gray patch is characteristic to it.
In case a person catches the disease which can be due to lack of vaccination or immunizing power, there is nothing to worry about thanks to the superb medical facilities against it present all across the globe. With the use of antibiotics and antitoxins, it can be cured to completion. The only condition attached is that it should be done well in time failure of which can be dire.
In case of delays, there is a risk of the toxin mixing up with the main bloodstream. The toxin can be hazardous if it affects the various organs of the human body. The main system affected is the nervous system. Apart from that, there can be considerable damage to the blood flow due to damage to the heart. The various problems that can arise are nervous breakdown leading to paralysis, both partial and complete. There is also a chance of a heart failure. The casualty rate has been estimated at around 15% across the globe which is proof enough of the danger that this disease can cause.
The countries where this disease is prominent are the south west nations. South America and the countries above it are prone to it. In the east, it is re emerging in the colder countries up north in the likes of Russia and china. It makes is important to keep oneself up to date with the vaccination scheme schedule (9 - 10 years approx.), especially if you happen to live or travel to one of the above said regions recently. This is because vaccination is the best cure for it as the risks are reduced considerably.