Diphtheria (Vaccine Preventable)

CAUSE:

An acute bacterial disease of tonsils, pharynx, larynx, nose and occasionally other mucous membranes or skin.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Early signs and symptoms are fever and sore throat, with white or grayish patches on the throat, palate or tonsils, and swelling of the neck.  The early signs can be confused with severe tonsillitis or strep throat.  Lesions of cutaneous diphtheria vary and may be difficult to distinguish from impetigo.

INCUBATION PERIOD: 

Incubation period is 2 to 5 days.

MODE OF TRANSMISSION:

Contact with an infected person or carrier.

PERIOD OF COMMUNICABILITY: 

Period of communicability is usually between 2 and 4 weeks.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

Vaccine available.  Students must have a completed HRS 680 Florida Certificate of Immunization with the recommended doses of vaccine/or legal exemptions to enter school.

IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL:

Any illness suspicious of diphtheria should be immediately reported to Coordinated Student Health Services, 754-321-1575, who will report this to the Department of Health-Broward Unit to investigate and recommend appropriate control measures.