Diphtheria. An illness, which many physicians no longer see in personal experience
Butenandt, O.; Weiss, M.
Fortschritte der Medizin 114(24): 281-283
Diphtheria is one of those diseases that the rigorous application of vaccination has rendered very rare in Western countries. However, as a result of being re-introduced from Eastern Europe, it may re-establish itself in the West. The incubation period is two to five days, and in the unprotected, infection may take place via a carrier who himself is not ill. The most feared form is the laryngeal form (croup) and the exotoxin-induced complications: myocarditis with arrhythmias and paresis affecting the muscles of the palate, throat and respiratory system. Once it is clinically suspected, antibiotic treatment and antitoxin therapy should be initiated without delay.