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Diphtheria (0)

C diphtheria is responsible for both endemic and epidemic diseases, and it was first described in the 5th century BC by Hippocrates. Diphtheria manifests as either an upper respiratory tract or cutaneous infection and is caused by the aerobic gram-positive bacteria, Corynebacterium diphtheria. The infection usually occurs in the spring or winter months. It is communicable for 2-6 weeks without antibiotic treatment.1,2 People who are most susceptible to infection are those who are not completely immunized or have low antitoxin antibody levels and have been exposed to a carrier or diseased individual. A carrier is someone whose cultures are positive for the diphtheria species but does not exhibit signs and symptoms. Studies show that as the number of asymptomatic carriers decrease, the number of diphtheria cases consequently decline.1,3