Diphtheria Vaccine – Everything You Need to Know

November 12, 2012

Diphtheria Vaccine - Everything You Need to Know

The diphtheria vaccine, otherwise known as Hib/DTap/IPV, exists to guard people against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and Hib bacterial infections. This 5-in-1 injection is usually injected in the baby’s thigh and can be used with other vaccines, as well, if needed.

When is It Given?

The diphtheria vaccine is usually given every month after the baby turns two months old. There are three doses in total and they work by helping children become immune against the enumerated diseases. Pre-schoolers are sometimes also given booster injections to protect them from diphtheria, whooping cough, polio and tetanus. Teenagers can get these booster injections, too. If you have any plans of traveling to a place where a lot of people get diphtheria, you might have to get a booster injection, too. Some of the areas that may require this booster include Sub-Saharan Africa, Bangladesh, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, India, Laos, Vietnam, Brazil, Philippines, Afghanistan and Iraq.

How Safe is It?

The diphtheria vaccine has gone through rigorous testing and, ever since it came out, the amount of illnesses and diseases have dropped significantly. In fact, it is practically non-existent in England now. Vaccines, in general, are some of the most effective inventions in medicine to date, even though they usually come with certain side effects. After all, their advantages outweigh their risks so much more. Diphtheria Diphtheria in itself is an infection caused by bacteria that is very contagious and is even considered to be lethal. Generally speaking, it affects the nose and throat, but the skin can get symptoms of it, too. It also spreads easily and quickly through saliva, coughing, sneezing and touching objects and surfaces. Thankfully, the diphtheria vaccine has made it very rare in England.

Diphtheria Symptoms

  • High fever

  • Trouble breathing

  • Sore throat

  • Painful swallowing

  • Headaches

  • Hoarseness

  • Coughing

  • Swollen glands

  • Fatigue Diphtheria

Treatment

If you already have diphtheria, then you will probably be admitted to a hospital nearby and put in isolation in order to stop other people from getting the infection from you. To treat it, antitoxins and antibiotics will be put to use. A lot of time, two weeks of antibiotics will be prescribed. However, if the tests still show existing bacteria present after that time frame, you might need to take the medicine for longer. Once the treatment is over, you will then get another diphtheria vaccine in order to lower the overall risk of getting infected again in the future.

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