Diseases

Diphtheria: Treatments

1- Serotherapy and antibiotic therapy

The treatment of diphtheria is a medical emergency. The administration of anti-diphtheria serum should be as early as possible. In addition, the doctor may prescribe antibiotic therapy (penicillin or amoxicillin) to prevent bacterial growth and secondary infections.

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2- Treatment of complications

Intubation, respiratory support, management of cardiac arrhythmias may be indicated in case of respiratory, nerve or heart complications.

3- Vaccination

The only effective means of combating diphtheria is vaccination, compulsory in France for children and health personnel. For infants, it includes 2 injections at 2 and 4 months of age, and a booster at 11 months. Reminders are mandatory at age 6, then between 11 and 13 years old. After that, recalls are recommended for ages 25, 45 and 65, then every 10 years, and for any adult traveling in an endemic area.

4- Prevention of contamination

In France, diphtheria is a reportable disease. The slightest suspicion must lead the doctor or the biologist to alert the health authorities. These then trigger a specific monitoring and care process. The patient is isolated, his environment is controlled, and all objects with which he has been in contact must be disinfected.

Read also :

> Sick child: 5 symptoms that must alert you to go to the emergency room
> Infantile diseases: the essential thing to know

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