Definition of diphtheria
: an acute febrile contagious disease typically marked by the formation of a false membrane especially in the throat and caused by a gram-positive bacterium (Corynebacterium diphtheriae) that produces a toxin causing inflammation of the heart and nervous system
diphtherialplay \-ē-əl\ adjective
diphtheriticplay \ˌdif-thə-ˈri-tik, ÷ˌdip-\ adjective
Recent Examples of diphtheria from the Web
The scientists gave them regular doses of the diphtheria toxin—which causes a temporary loss of odor-sensing neurons—to suppress their sense of smell.
In 1924, a diphtheria outbreak killed at least nine members and made dozens of others sick, according to the Lebanon Daily News.
But there’s more: a planetarium, a moon rock, and Balto, the Siberian husky that helped contain a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska, in 1925.
Children must be immunized against nine diseases: diphtheria, hepatitis B., measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, rubella, tetanus and chicken pox.
Yet, every year, immunization prevents between 2 million and 3 million deaths around the world in all age groups from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and measles, according to the World Health Organization.
Venezuela, for instance, had controlled diphtheria, a bacterial infection that is fatal in 5 to 10 percent of cases, in the 1990s.
The statistics, issued on the ministry's website after nearly two years of data silence from President Nicolas Maduro's leftist government, also showed a jump in illnesses such as diphtheria and Zika.
While pioneers’ diaries have reports of children falling and dying under wagon wheels, diphtheria was thought their main cause of death.
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Origin and Etymology of diphtheria
New Latin, from French diphthérie, from Greek diphthera leather; from the toughness of the false membrane
First Known Use: circa 1851See Words from the same year
DIPHTHERIA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of diphtheria for English Language Learners
medical : a serious disease that makes breathing very difficult
DIPHTHERIA Defined for Kids
Definition of diphtheria for Students
: a contagious disease that often makes breathing and swallowing difficult
Medical Definition of diphtheria
: an acute febrile contagious disease typically marked by the formation of a false membrane especially in the throat and caused by a bacterium of the genus Corynebacterium (C. diphtheriae) which produces a toxin causing inflammation of the heart and nervous system
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