What should you know about diphtheria?

Diphtheria diphtheriais one of the most dangerous, acute and also infectious sickness. It is the inflammation of the upper respiratory ways, the nose and pharynx, genitals or eyes and the skin. However, the greatest problem for the patient is not inflammation but it is poisoning by toxin which the bacterium produces. Among the most dangerous complications of diphtheria are: paralysis of respiratory muscles and diaphragm muscles, heart diseases, otitis, hepatitis, pneumonia, brain swelling and different others.

What causes diphtheria?

The only diphtheria’s reason is a Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacterium. The agents, secreted by toxigenic strains of bacteria, generally belong to the strongest bacterial poison. The illness begins from the infection entering to the body through the mucous membranes of the different part in the person’s body (such as nasopharynx, genitals, skin or ears and conjunctiva). Nidus of inflammation is mostly formed at the entrance site of infection. The sick individual or carrier of diphtheria can be a source of this sickness for other people especially for children. Most often, this disease is chiefly circulated by air, but it is also possible to sick with diphtheria of the eyes, genitals and skin through surrounding objects (dishes, toys, household items) or dirty hands. The milk and dairy products are the incubation medium for pathogen multiplying, which leads to food outbreaks. People have a high susceptibility to diphtheria. Antitoxic immunity protects them arising after the disease or as a result of vaccination.

Diphtheria symptoms

Diphtheria diphtheriaof pharynx usually begins with a small temperature rising, a light pain when swallowing, the formation of specific membranous plaque on the tonsils, increasing of the cervical lymph nodes and some other symptoms. The diphtheria’s toxic form always takes very hard. It is generally accompanied with a very high temperature (about 102.2- 105.8F), headache, apathy, drowsiness and some others. The mouth is dry, the skin becomes pale, and patients (especially children) can have abdominal pain and repeated vomiting. The edema tonsil becomes pronounced and, with the lapse of time, can lead to the closure of the entrance to the throat, it spreads to hard palate and often also to the nasopharynx and it is a cause of the difficult breathing. Diphtheria of the nose occurs with the seropurulent or bloody-purulent discharges from the nasal passages and against a background of slightly elevated or normal body temperature without intoxication.

Diphtheria of the eye is taking as a simple conjunctivitis and is characterized by mild conjunctival hyperemia and edema of the eyelid. The toxic form can be also accompanied with tumefaction of tissues around the eye sockets.

Diphtheria of the skin leads to the long-term repair of any damages of the skin, there is a dirty-gray incrustation and a dense infiltration of the surrounding skin.

Diphtheria treatment

The diagnosis diphtheriaof diphtheria can be mostly made by different physicians based on the test results and examination of the patient. All sick individuals with diphtheria, indifferent of the sternness of the condition, must be immediately hospitalized in the infectious hospital. The physicians usually use the next treatment complex:

  • Diet - well-cooked and calorie food with usage of vitamins (such as Becadexamin, Ginseng, Riconia, Supradyn, Vitamin C, Vitamin E an many others);
  • Causal treatment (aimed at eliminating the reasons of the disease) – the oral or intravenous introduction (depend on kind of sickness) of diphtheria serum;
  • Antibiotics (such as Augmentin, Cipro, Zithromax, Amoxil, Ampicillin, Cephalexin, Keflex, Vancomycin and so on) are mainly used at milder forms of the illness, and injection of Meronem IV, Gentamicinor Amikacin is chiefly applied in severe forms of this sickness. The duration of the therapeutical course is about fifteen days. Usually, various antibiotics have no especial effects on the diphtheria toxin but they can reduce the amount of bacteria;
  • Rinsing and irrigation by disinfectant solutions;
  • Detoxification therapy with glucose-saline solutions;
  • The medical cure by different corticosteroids (such as Prednisolone, Koflet, Sterapred and several others) are usually employed with severe forms;
  • Some other treatment by various medicamental preparations only after a consultation with your physician.

For treating carrier of bacteria, antibiotics: Erythromycin, Tetracycline (only, children older than 9 years) are chiefly taken as strengthening therapy and for elimination of chronic nidus of infection.

Prevention of diphtheria

The most effective way to prevent this disease is vaccination. The DPT includes a diphtheria toxoid. Unfortunately, diphtheria vaccine is not a panacea, but it will help protect people from developing serious forms of this sickness. To prevent the spread of dangerous illness may help the timely identification of patients, their isolation and treatment. That’s why it is very important to do the annual examinations in educational institutions, work collectives. The most thorough medical supervision should be subject to people with chronic quinsy symptoms and inflammation of the tonsils. They primarily are at risk of diphtheria. Also this illness can be a reason of other sicknesses’ development and appearance.