Diphtheria is an infectious condition that affects mostly the nose and throat, and also the skin in rare cases. Travelling to some parts of the world increases your risk of contracting it, however, it’s rare in the UK. The infection is considered highly contagious. Get protection through the effective Diphtheria vaccine in Tamworth from The Travel Health Clinic as you tour the world.
Unless treated quickly, diphtheria can cause serious illness and even death, especially in children. However, it can be prevented by vaccination.
Since the 1940s, the UK has routinely vaccinated babies and children against diphtheria; the disease is rare today because of this policy.
Vaccinating against diphtheria is the best way to prevent it while travelling.
If your last diphtheria vaccination was more than 10 years ago, you may need a booster vaccination if you are travelling to a part of the world where there may be a risk of diphtheria.
In 2018, the World Health Organization reported an increase in diphtheria cases in:
– South America
Areas with higher diphtheria cases tend to change over time. Check the TravelHealthPro country guides for the latest information on the area you’re visiting.
Since it’s contagious, diphtheria can be transmitted by coughing and sneezing, or by contact with an infected person. You can get it by sharing items with infected individuals, such as cutlery, bedding, and clothing.
After becoming infected, symptoms usually appear within two to five days. Diphtheria can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
Children commonly get the vaccination against diphtheria as part of a combination vaccine, such as the DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccine. Organisations like UNICEF frequently use pentavalent vaccines for disease prevention programmes in developing countries. As a result, this protects against diphtheria and four other childhood diseases at the same time.
The main course of treatment for diphtheria includes:
– Antibiotics to get rid of the diphtheria bacteria.
– Medications that inhibit the effects of the toxic substances generated by the bacteria.
– Cleaning any wounds thoroughly if your skin has been affected
It usually takes two to three weeks to complete the treatment. However, it is typically possible to heal skin ulcers within 2 to 3 months, but some may leave scarring.
Those who have been in contact with a person who is infected with diphtheria may also need to get antibiotic treatment or the diphtheria vaccine.
You show diphtheria symptoms, as well as if:
– You are in the region where the infection is prevalent
– You’ve been in close contact with a person who has diphtheria
– You recently got back from an area where the infection is common
In order to avoid severe complications like heart issues or breathing difficulties, get diphtheria treatment immediately.
– 8, 12, and 16 weeks – 6-in-1 vaccine (3 separate doses)
– 3 years 4 months – 4-in-1 pre-school booster
– 14 years – 3-in-1 teenage booster
You will get protection from the disease for 10 years after receiving the vaccine. However, you’ll need a booster vaccine after ten years. Administration of the vaccine is by injection into the upper arm.
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