What is Diphtheria?
Diphtheria (dif-THEER-e-uh) is a serious bacterial infection. It usually affects the mucous membranes of your nose and throat. It causes a sore throat, fever, swollen glands and weakness. But the hallmark sign is a sheet of thick, gray material covering the back of your throat, blocking your airway, causing you to struggle for breath.
Corynebacterium diphtheriae is a bacteria that causes diphtheria. Usually C. diphtheriae multiplies on or near the surface of the mucous membranes of the throat. C. diphtheriae spreading in three ways:
You can also come in contact with diphtheria-causing bacteria by touching an infected wound.
Signs and symptoms usually begin two to five days after a person becomes infected: