Diphtheria Disease: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Diphtheria disease, contrary to general misconception, can develop not only in young children, but also in adults. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the material, which tells about diphtheria, its symptoms, treatment and prevention. Information is given on the causes of diphtheria, vaccination techniques. You will find out why it is necessary to vaccinate against this infection

Diphtheria disease

Diphtheria and angina are similar to twin brothers.

That's just cause these diseases are different pathogens, and therefore the treatment is different.

Diphtheria causative agent

Diphtheria is caused by a bacterial flora. The disease causes a gram-positive coliform bacterium diphtheria. This causative agent of diphtheria is fairly stable in the external environment. He can keep his viability for a long time on clothes, furniture, dishes. The bacterium loves a moist environment.

Sources of diphtheria and infection

Sources of diphtheria are sick people. Coughing or sneezing, he throws out into the environment a huge number of pathogens that settle on various objects.

Most often, diphtheria infection occurs by airborne droplets. Also, the bacterium can be picked up by a contact method. For example, when a mother gives a sick child a spoonful of honey, and then stirs the coffee in her cup with the same spoon. And some parents can even lick the nipple( supposedly washed) before giving it to the baby. Nutritional route of transmission is also possible, but extremely rare.

Causes of diphtheria as a disease

Earlier, we quite often recorded cases of mass disease. Now, when this infection is mandatory vaccination, people became sick less often. The causes of diphtheria are infection. There are no other causes of diphtheria.

Diphtheria: symptoms, causes, treatment

Everyone who has not yet been vaccinated against diphtheria is at risk. Patients with weakened immunity may also get sick, even if they received the vaccine on time. It is necessary to raise the level of literacy. What is diphtheria: the symptoms, causes and treatment of the disease in children and adults. Everyone must know about this without exception.

These patients will bear the ailment in mild form: with a slight indisposition, sore throat and runny nose. True, this condition can last more than a month. In addition, during this period, patients become infectious.

Diphtheria Disease: Symptoms and Treatment

The diphtheria bacillus enters the body through the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, eyes, genitals, damaged skin, wounds and scratches. Disease diphtheria: symptoms and treatment with her appoint only a doctor.

Microbes can target different parts of the body as targets. The most common diphtheria of throat, larynx, nose. Thus, the symptoms of diphtheria are manifested.

Sometimes an ailment "descends" into the trachea and bronchi, then they talk about the development of diphtheria croup. Also, bacteria can affect the skin, eyes, genitals.

Once in the body, the microbes begin to multiply rapidly and release toxins. Because of this, inflammation develops, a grayish white film forms on the mucous membranes.

Diphtheria incubation period

The incubation period of diphtheria lasts from 2 to 10 days. The patient develops severe intoxication, the temperature rises, the palatine tonsils increase, and the appetite disappears. It is difficult for the patient to swallow, it is affected by weakness, sore throat.

Symptoms of diphtheria

Symptoms of diphtheria appear suddenly. At the same time on the tonsils appears a white-gray coating characteristic for this infection. With diphtheria of the skin, this plaque occurs on the surface of wounds or scratches. This form of the disease was common in the 1980-1990s, now it is much less common.

Classical diphtheria is very similar in symptoms to angina, how not to confuse and put the right diagnosis? Diphtheria does not remove plaque from the tonsils with a spatula. And if they still scrape, on the surface of the mucous remains bleeding wounds. With angina, the plaque descends easily. In addition, when the patient is infected with corynebacteria, he has a characteristic neck swelling due to an increase in the cervical lymph nodes. With angina this does not happen.

Symptoms of diphtheria

It is necessary to call a doctor at the first signs of diphtheria. The fact is that it is almost impossible to predict in what form diphtheria will occur. For example, when the patient is toxic, body temperature drops to 40 ° C, severe weakness, sore throat and stomach pain, aching muscles and joints. The disease develops very quickly, and here you can not do without urgent medical help.

There are also hypertoxic forms of diphtheria with the strongest intoxication. They are even more rapid, they quickly give signs of diphtheria and can lead to unconsciousness, collapse, convulsions, heart failure, internal bleeding. If you do not contact the specialists on time, a fatal outcome is possible on the 2-3rd day of the disease.

Under what conditions do severe conditions develop? This depends on the state of the patient's immunity, as well as the presence of concomitant diseases. If the patient's body is weakened, then the possibility of the appearance of a severe form increases.

Complications after diphtheria

Diphtheria complications gives in the absence of adequate treatment. In severe cases or in the absence of competent medical assistance, the likelihood of complications in the heart is not excluded.

Myocarditis develops in the second week of untreated diphtheria. Also affected are the kidneys, adrenal glands, nervous and cardiovascular systems. If complications pass to the brain, the prognosis is very unfavorable and a fatal outcome is possible. Complications after diphtheria can be avoided if you contact a doctor in time.

Diagnosis of diphtheria

Diagnosis of diphtheria by the laboratory method. From the tonsils of the patient scrape off a little plaque and give to the laboratory for bacterial inoculation( grow colonies of microbes on nutrient media).

What are the doctors doing if the diagnosis of diphtheria is confirmed? The patient is immediately sent to a hospital. When a doctor diagnoses "angina", he must conduct a so-called differential diagnosis to make sure that he has not confused the disease with diphtheria. These two diseases are very similar. That's just the treatment they have is completely different, so you can not make mistakes in diagnosis.

Diphtheria: treatment and prevention

Treatment and prevention of diphtheria are in the competence of infectious disease doctors. Diphtheria is treated with a special serum that neutralizes the toxins of the pathogen circulating in the blood. The dose is calculated depending on the weight and age of the patient. To be treated with serum is necessary until the disappearance of diphtheria films in the larynx and upper respiratory tract. Diphtheria is mainly treated in a hospital.

If the disease is severe, broad-spectrum antibiotics are used. Also, the patient is prescribed symptomatic treatment, detoxification preparations, vitamins.

The patient should regularly rinse the throat, rinse the nose, carry out inhalations. The food should be liquid and semi-liquid, so as not to injure the yawn and pharynx.

How long does diphtheria treatment last? The patient should spend at least 3 weeks in the hospital. After recovering and completely getting rid of pathogens, the patient rises to a dispensary account, and a specialist regularly observes it for a month. At this time, the patient can not be physically overloaded and supercooled.

Diphtheria prophylaxis

Diphtheria prophylaxis is required in the area of ​​infection. Children who have been in contact with a patient are tested for diphtheria and observed for 7 days. After isolation of the patient in the premises in which he was, disinfect. All family members of the patient should be vaccinated against diphtheria.

It is recommended to wear gauze masks? Of course. Many forget that masks are not needed to protect themselves from others, but quite the contrary. Gauze bandages should be worn by patients, so as not to spread the infection around themselves and not infect other people. Masks should be used in public transport, shops, pharmacies, places of large concentrations of people. Unfortunately, in our country this practice has not yet become the norm. Doctors need to remind patients that they need to think not only about themselves, but about others.

Vaccination and vaccination against diphtheria

You can vaccinate against diphtheria in any inoculum. Vaccination against diphtheria is included in the National Calendar of preventive vaccinations. Vaccination for children is carried out in three stages( at 3, 4,5 and 6 months).At 18 months, 6-7 and 14 years of age carry out revaccinations. After this, children and adults should be vaccinated against diphtheria every 10 years. In a patient who has recovered, the immunity remains for life.

Diphtheria of the oropharynx( pharynx) is the most frequent form of the disease. With it on the tonsils there are dense fibrinous films that are very difficult to remove with a spatula. In the places of scraping the mucous begins to bleed. Also, the patient becomes inflamed with the oropharynx, the temperature rises to 38.3-38.9 ° C, there is tachycardia and general weakness.

Larynx diphtheria is one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, as it can lead to complications. In patients, the body temperature rises to 39.4-40 ° C, general weakness, severe coughing, hoarseness and loss of voice appear. There is a "bull's neck" because of the increase in the tonsils. In rare cases, acute respiratory failure occurs, which is fatal.

Skin diphtheria occurs in approximately 33% of all cases of the disease. It is typical for people who do not observe the rules of personal hygiene. In the place of infection, inflammation of the skin occurs, grayish plaque, ulcers, non-healing wounds.

Bacteriophage - an alternative to antibiotics

Bacteriophage is a virus that selectively affects pathogenic bacterial cells. The word "bacteriophage" comes from the words "bacterium" and "devourer".The peculiarity of bacteriophages is that they have adapted to use bacterial cells for their propagation. For this reason, the therapeutic effect of bacteriophages is caused by the lysis( death) of pathogenic bacteria in the focus of inflammation.

Currently, the range of bacteriophage applications is very wide. They are taken inside for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, buried in the nose or ears with purulent-inflammatory infections, they process wounds with skin lesions and so on.

In 1925, 4 cases of curing bubonic plague for the first time were described by bacteriophages. In the Soviet Union, bacteriophages have been studied for a long time and intensively. They were used mainly in the army, as well as to treat patients with intestinal infections and purulent-septic wounds in some regions of the country.

But interest in bacteriophages was extinguished when antibiotics appeared. Everyone thought that with their help it will be possible to defeat many infectious diseases. However, the "world novel" with antibiotics did not last long: now there are such stable forms of microorganisms against which antibiotics are powerless. And the view of medical science again turned to the side of bacteriophages.

They have many advantages over antibiotics: microorganisms do not develop resistance so quickly, they do not change the immune system, do not cause allergies and poisonings.

No specific assays are required prior to the appointment of a bacteriophage. Doctors-bacteriologists identify the causative agents of the disease and see if the bacteriophage is active against these microbes or not. The fact is that there are many bacteriophages, and they act on different bacteria individually.

Treatment by bacteriophages is prescribed by a physician, having previously assessed the patient's condition. Today, these drugs are often included in a set of therapeutic methods to combat this or that infection.

There are situations when the use of antibiotics is mandatory, but in other cases they must be abandoned.

Now 70% of all acute intestinal infections in children have a viral etiology( origin), so why load the body with antibiotics? The results of the studies show that the sensitivity of, for example, dysentery bacteria to bacteriophages is expressed by the figure of 97.4%, so it is necessary to approach the choice of treatment wisely. The effectiveness of the use of bacteriophages depends on the infection, the type of pathogen and many other causes.