Symptoms & Signs
Symptoms usually occur 2 to 5 days after you have come in contact with the bacteria.
- Bluish coloration of the skin
- Bloody, watery drainage from nose
- Breathing problems
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Croup-like (barking) cough
- Drooling (suggests airway blockage is about to occur)
- Painful swallowing
- Skin lesions (usually seen in tropical areas)
- Sore throat (may range from mild to severe)
Note: There may be no symptoms.
Diagnosis & Tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and look inside your mouth. This may reveal a gray to black covering (pseudomembrane) in the throat, enlarged lymph glands, and swelling of the neck or larynx.
Tests used may include:
- Gram stain or throat culture to identify Corynebacterium diphtheriae
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
Review Date : 11/9/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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