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Diphtheria<span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​About​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p> Diphtheria is a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening bacterial infection caused by a bacterium called <em>Corynebacterium Diphtheriae</em>. </p><p>The infection spreads from person to person through droplets released into the air when a person coughs or sneezes, as well as through direct, prolonged contact with an infected person. </p><h2 class="sectHeading">Signs and symptoms</h2><p>Signs and symptoms usually start two – five days after exposure and range from mild to severe. </p><h4>Look out for the following:</h4><ul><li>fever and chills </li><li>sore throat </li><li>loss of appetite </li><li>nausea and vomiting </li><li>a thick white or grey coating or membrane on the back of the nose or throat that can block the airway and make it hard to swallow or breathe </li><li>Swelling of the glands in the neck</li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Who is at risk?</h2><ul><li>Unvaccinated children or children who did not receive all the immunisation on the <a href="">Extended Programme of Immunisation (EPI)</a>. </li><li>Vaccinated adults exposed to the bacterium as immunity decreases with time. </li><li>People living in densely populated areas or crowded conditions where the infection is present.</li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Treatment</h2><p>If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms or you have been in contact with a confirmed case, visit your nearest healthcare facility immediately.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Prevention</h2> <ul><li>Diphtheria is preventable with routine vaccinations for children at the age of 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks. A booster vaccine is administered at 18 months, 6 and 12 years of age. </li><li>The vaccine is safe, effective and available free of charge at all <a href="">City clinics and healthcare facilities</a>.</li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Complications</h2><p>The most serious complications include:</p><ul><li>difficulty breathing (respiratory obstruction) </li><li>inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall (Myocarditis) that can lead to heart failure and death.</li></ul><p>For more information, visit the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) website: <a href="" target="_blank"><i class="icon link-external"></i></a>.</p>GP0|#daa54c89-9c0c-4dd5-84e5-2c3cb1e46b9d;L0|#0daa54c89-9c0c-4dd5-84e5-2c3cb1e46b9d|Diphtheria;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#d65ab879-2884-426b-a380-7b8f9433c812;GPP|#090e430c-3809-42d5-a80b-caea93b2beaf;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711Find out about the symptoms of diphtheria, as well as the prevention and treatment methods.0





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