Diphtheria: what you need to know about the disease?

Now in Ukraine recorded an outbreak of measles in recent years. In this regard, a well-known pediatrician Eugene Komorowski 16 January 2018 issued an official video message in which he told about the disease and urged to protect themselves and their children from it by vaccination. In the same letter Dr. Komorowski noted that, in his opinion, if the situation with vaccination in Ukraine will not change, followed by measles in our state will come much more serious disease – diphtheria. These words make us think about what we actually know about diphtheria? How to protect themselves from it?

Diphtheria and diphtheria toxin

Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease that is very dangerous for life. It is a strong inflammation of the upper respiratory tract (in most cases), eyes, skin. The main threat when the disease is not inflammation of the and a toxin which produces the causative agent of diphtheria, which is subjected to the defeat of the cardiovascular and nervous system.

Diphtheria is caused by bacteria, the so-called diphtheria bacilli, the disease is transmitted by airborne droplets, less so through the objects of everyday use.

Diphtheria toxin negatively affects the myocardium, myocarditis developing, also it can cause toxic shock, General intoxication of the organism, severe disorders of the nervous system.

Most susceptible to diphtheria children aged 3 to 7 years, but anyone can become infected. Diphtheria is insidious that signs of the disease are not apparent at all, and looks completely healthy person can be a carrier of this infection and spread it without even knowing it. The incubation period of diphtheria is from 2 pril 10 days, during this period of time after the moment of infection can show the first symptoms.

The symptoms

The first symptoms of diphtheria include the following:

  • a slight increase in body temperature;
  • sore throat, especially during swallowing;
  • redness and swelling of the tonsils;
  • plaque in the form of a white or a yellow-gray film on the tonsils.

About a week later a mild form of diphtheria (usually only vaccinated) ends with the recovery of the sick. If this happens, the disease becomes severe toxic form, which is extremely dangerous for life.

For the toxic form of diphtheria is characterized by such symptoms:

  • very high fever (up to 39,5-41,0°C);
  • severe headaches;
  • drowsiness, lethargy;
  • pallor of the skin;
  • dry mouth;
  • repeated vomiting;
  • pain in the abdomen;
  • a pronounced swelling of the tonsils;
  • shortness of breath;
  • twang;
  • a significant increase in cervical lymph nodes, they hurt to touch.

Symptoms the most common form of diphtheria. Another is diphtheria of the nose, eyes, skin. They are less common but are also very dangerous.

Treatment of diphtheria

Diphtheria is treated only in the infectious Department of the hospital. The patient must enter diphtheria serum, without which it dies to 50% of patients on the acute toxic form of this disease. And even the introduction of such a serum does not give a 100% guarantee of a positive end of the disease. Moreover, now in Ukraine there is a significant shortage of this serum.

Treatment involves the use of antibiotics as diphtheria causing bacteria. Doctors may recommend the symptomatic treatment to improve the patient’s General condition. Therapy is prolonged, and there is no guarantee that a person will be able to save.

On diphtheria in the civilized world is almost forgotten, and even until recently it was almost impossible to find a doctor who saw her move, and not only read about the disease. Now, however, it can all change, since the last years in Ukraine the unsatisfactory situation with vaccinations, including from this disease.

According to the immunization Calendar, approved by the MINISTRY of health, vaccination against diphtheria should be considered in children aged 2, 4, 6 months, then do a booster in 6 years and 16 years. It is also important to remind all adults that they should do a booster against diphtheria every 10 years throughout life, only then can we talk about protection from the disease. Only through preventive vaccination is possible to prevent the spread of diphtheria in Ukraine, and talked about what in his address, Eugene Komorowski.

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