Skip to main content

Diphtheria

Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Acute respiratory tract infection typically causing a membranous pharyngitis by gram-positive facultative anaerobic bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae

  • Incubation period 2 to 5 days...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Membranous pharyngotonsillar diphtheria

    • Sore throat

    • Malaise, fever, and prostration

  • Nasal diphtheria

    • Rhinorrhea (often unilateral)

    • Often chronic, mild course

  • Obstructive laryngotracheitis

    • Ho...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Appropriate health care generally entails:

    • Inpatient, initial hospitalization in unit to monitor cardiac and respiratory status (must act on presumptive diagnosis because ther...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Rest for at least 3 weeks until risk of developing myocarditis has passed. 

Patient Monitoring

  • ECG, cardiac enzymes, neurologic status, and respiratory status; seri...

REFERENCES

1
Efstratiou A, Engler KH, Mazurova IK, et al. Current approaches to the laboratory diagnosis of diphtheria. J Infect Dis.  2000;181(Suppl 1):S138–S145. {L-End} [View Abstract on OvidM...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • ACOG Committee Opinion No. 566: update on immunization and pregnancy: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccination. Obstet Gynecol.  2013;121(6):1411–1414.

  • American Academy of...

CODES

ICD10

  • A36.9 Diphtheria, unspecified

  • A36.0 Pharyngeal diphtheria

  • A36.1 Nasopharyngeal diphtheria

  • A36.3 Cutaneous diphtheria

  • A36.84 Diphtheritic tubulo-interstitial nephropathy

  • A36.89 Other diphtheritic...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Culture, check immunization status, and consider antimicrobial prophylaxis (penicillin or erythromycin) for close contacts of known cases of C. diphtheriae.

  • Tdap is routinely recommende...

Subscribe to Access Full Content

Sign Up for a 10-Day Free Trial

Sign up for a 10-day FREE Trial now and receive full access to all content.

 
×