Diphtheria is a dangerous acute infectious disease, which is characterized by skin inflammation in places of abrasions, cuts, inflammations, as well as the inflammatory process of the upper respiratory tract.Diphtheria is especially dangerous not so much as a local lesion, but as a manifestation of general intoxication, toxic damage to the nervous system and cardiovascular. In the unvaccinated, the disease occurs in a particularly severe form.
Causes of diphtheria
The method of transmission of this disease is airborne. Diphtheria is transmitted to healthy people from patients with diphtheria or from healthy bacterial carriers. In rare cases, infection can occur through infected items. When infected, the possibility of a lethal outcome, the severity of the disease depends on the amount of toxin formed in the source of infection. The toxin of diphtheria carries with blood throughout the body, affects primarily the kidney, heart muscle and nervous system. There are such forms of diphtheria: diphtheria of the oropharynx, diphtheria of the nose, diphtheria of the respiratory tract, diphtheria of rare localizations - external genital organs, skin, wound surfaces.
Symptoms of diphtheria
The onset of the disease is characterized by an increase in temperature and the presence of excreta in the focus of inflammation. The most dangerous form of diphtheria is diphtheria of the pharynx. This type of diphtheria is characterized by the formation of specific fibrinous films on the surface of the mucous membrane. Films of grayish color, contain corynebacteria. If the dimensions of these films increase, this leads to difficulty breathing. A week after the onset of diphtheria, the toxins begin to appear on the organs that are distant from the focus of the infection. In infants, diphtheria primarily affects the nasal cavity - nasal diphtheria, older children are mainly affected by diphtheria of throat. Do not confuse the symptoms of diphtheria with symptoms of angina. With diphtheria, there are no sore throats and there is no very high fever. The most serious possible complications of diphtheria are myocarditis, paralysis of the diaphragm and respiratory muscles, violation of the heart rhythm, and damage to the nervous system.
Diagnosis of diphtheria
It is very important to diagnose the disease in time and as early as possible, especially if the toxic type of diphtheria has developed. The general clinical symptomatology is highly variable, for this reason, laboratory methods of investigation are used in the form of bacteriology, antibody determination reaction, blood biochemistry, general urine and blood tests.
Infected with diphtheria and patients with suspicion of this disease are subject to urgent evacuation and isolation to the infectious diseases of the hospital. If a child has had contact with an infected person with diphtheria, you should immediately consult a doctor. Do not self-medicate. With the smallest suspicions, you need to call a doctor. The correct diagnosis can be determined only by a specialist after a thorough examination. The main part of therapy is the introduction of antidiphtheria antitoxic serum. But such therapy is effective only if the serum is administered in the first hours after the onset of the disease, until the most part of the toxin gets into internal organs. A long period of time passes from the moment of infection to the beginning of treatment. For this reason, with the toxic forms of diphtheria, the introduction of PDS in the first days after the onset of the disease does not exclude possible complications. In parallel with the introduction of antidiphtheria antitoxic serum, detoxification therapy and antibacterial medicinal medicines are prescribed.
Prevention of diphtheria
One of the most effective methods of preventing diphtheria is the immunization of the body with diphtheria toxoid. Anatoxin is a harmless toxin derivative that is capable of inducing the production of antibodies to the original toxin. This method of prevention reliably prevents this disease. But for constant support of immunity it is necessary to conduct every ten years a repeated introduction of a diphtheria antitoxin.