Health Article
Dec 30, 2020

Diphtheria Disease

Caused by the bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheria

Spread by direct contact with medium or air contaminated with the bacteria.  Examples: fluids from the mouth or nose of an infected person, from fingers or towels or from milk that is contaminated with the bacteria.

It is a bacterial infection that attacks the lining (mucous membrane) of the throat and nose. These bacteria secrete toxins that spread throughout the body through the bloodstream and cause complications such as myocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart), muscle weakness and kidney failure.

Able to transmit diphtheria up to 6 weeks after initial infection.

In poor / developing countries where the success rate for diphtheria vaccine is still very low, diphtheria can be a dangerous disease.

This disease can be prevented by vaccines.


  • Fever and chills
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Bluish skin
  • Drooling
  • A thick white layer forms over the back of the esophagus

Physical examination

  • History of disease
  • Symptoms
  • Gray-white coating on throat

Laboratory examination

  • Network swabs
  • Diphtheria Treatment
  • Isolation treatment at the hospital
  • Administration of antitoxin injection drugs
  • Administration of antibiotic drugs
  • Symptomatic

Vaccines for children and adults:

  • 2-4-6-18 months – (4-6) years or
  • 2-3-4-18 months – grade 1 elementary school
  • Age <5 years → DPT
  • Age 5-7 years → DT vaccine
  • Age> 7 years → Td or Tdap vaccines that protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis should be repeated every 10 years.
  • Adults (19 years and over) get the vaccines of tetanus, diphtheria (Td)
  • Pregnant women can only be vaccinated at the time of trimester 2 or trimester 3.
  • The TD dose for pregnant women is the same as for other adults, which is 0.5 ml.

Vaccine contraindications in children:

  • The child is sick with high fever, giving the vaccine after the child has recovered from illness. In mild pain without fever, vaccination can be given.
  • Children who have had severe allergic reactions after the first vaccination with DPT, are not allowed to receive further vaccinations.
  • Seizures or fainting immediately after vaccination with DPT
  • Children cry loudly and continuously for > 3 hours after vaccination.

Side effects after vaccine administration:

  • Fever
  • Redness and slight swelling at the injection site
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Fussy
  • Decreased appetite
  • Throw up

ORI (Outbreak Response Immunization)

If in 1 area there is an outbreak status (1 case of diphtheria was found) then all children aged 1-19 years must receive ORI for 3 times, within the interval of 0-1-6 months. Regardless of previous immunization status.

ORI will provide a vaccine with the provisions of DPT-HB-HiB for ages 1-5 years, DTs aged 5 years to 7 years, and TD ages 7 to 19 years.