Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease caused by the corynebacterium of diphtheria. The disease begins with the appearance of grayish-whitish, smooth, non-removable spatula covering the palatal arch and pharynx. The children are most affected by diphtheria. In our country, this disease is relatively rare, because Almost all children make preventive vaccinations. Vaccinations do not guarantee 100% protection against the disease, but greatly facilitate its course. The more people not vaccinated with diphtheria, the higher the risk of spreading the disease. In diphtheria, toxins, which are secreted by bacteria, are a big danger to life - substances that quickly enter the blood, which can cause intoxication of the whole organism.
- Discharge from the nose with an admixture of blood.
- Yellowish white fibrinous plaque.
- Sweetish-putrid odor from the mouth.
Causes of the disease
Transmission of bacteria that cause diphtheria occurs by airborne droplets. Usually, the entrance gates of the infection are the nose and throat, less often the larynx, the connective membrane of the eyes, the navel and small wounds on the skin. The danger to life is not only the infection itself, but also the toxin, excreted by pathogens. This toxin contributes to the formation of plaque, destruction of the mucous membrane, damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, adrenals and nerves.
First of all, the patient is injected with antidiphtheria serum - a substance that neutralizes bacteria, prescribes antibiotics. Diphtheria pathogens are particularly sensitive to penicillin, so the patient is treated with large doses of penicillin and macrolides. Sometimes the patient is cured rather quickly.
Further treatment depends on the course of the disease. It can be very different. If only the nasal mucosa is affected, the symptoms of the disease usually disappear after a few days. As a rule, if the skin, navel or connective membrane of the eye is affected, the infected areas should be lubricated with ointment. Relatively easy to cure diphtheria of tonsils (diphtheria angina), in which the patient has a sore throat and difficult to swallow.
However, if the disease affects the pharynx or larynx, then the patient needs more intensive treatment, because As the infection spreads, toxin production increases. The toxin can cause paralysis of the muscles of the pharynx or the respiratory center, and in severe cases - even paralysis of the legs or severe damage to the heart muscle, which can lead to heart failure. In addition, there is a significant swelling of the mucous membrane and lymph nodes, causing a violation of breathing, which can lead to suffocation. In this case, the patient needs artificial ventilation through the intubation tube.
How to help yourself? The main thing - to instill children from diphtheria. Preventive vaccinations in our country are made to all children on a special calendar.
When should I see a doctor? The severity of the disease depends on the amount of toxin entering the body. The sooner the treatment is started, the less serious the consequences of the disease will be. Therefore, infectious lesions of the nose, mouth, pharynx, navel, eyes, wound surfaces should consult a doctor.
The doctor will take a smear in order to more accurately identify the causative agent of the disease. A patient suffering from diphtheria is immediately hospitalized in an infectious disease hospital.
Even with proper treatment, the disease can last several weeks - so much time is needed to ensure that the patient completely got rid of the consequences of intoxication and was able to get out of bed.
Parents should take care that their child is vaccinated against diphtheria. The first time a child is vaccinated at 3-4 months of life, again - at the age of 2-6 years.