This Is What You Should Know About Diphtheria Disease.

This is what you should know about Diphtheria. Diphtheria is a contagious infection caused by Corynebacterium bacteria. Symptoms that arise when we are exposed to diphtheria are sore throat, fever, and formation of the lining of the tonsils and throat. In advanced cases, the infection may spread to other organs such as the heart and nervous system. Skin infections are also found in some patients. The toxins produced by Corynebacterium can be dangerous when spread to other parts of the body.

The spread of these bacteria can occur easily, especially for people who do not get diphtheria vaccine. There are a number of ways of transmission that need to be watched, such as:
  • Inhalation splashes the patient in the air when the patient sneezes or coughs. This is the most common mode of diphtheria transmission.
  • Items that have been contaminated by bacteria, for example toys or towels.
  • Direct touch on ulcer wounds (ulcers) due to diphtheria in the skin of the patient. Transmission is common in people living in densely populated environments and their hygiene is not maintained.
Diphtheria bacteria will produce toxins that will kill healthy cells in the throat, thus eventually becoming a dead cell. These dead cells will form a gray (membrane) membrane in the throat. In addition, the resulting toxin also has the potential to spread in the bloodstream and damage the heart, kidneys, and nervous system.

Sometimes, diphtheria may show no symptoms so that the sufferer does not realize that he or she is infected. If not properly treated, they have the potential to transmit the disease to those around them, especially those who have not been immunized.

Diphtheria Symptoms.

Diphtheria generally has an incubation period or time span since bacteria enter the body until symptoms appear 2 to 5 days. The symptoms of the disease include:
  • The formation of a thin layer of gray that covers the throat and tonsils.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Sore throat and hoarseness.
  • Difficult breathing or rapid breathing.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Limp and tired.
  • Cold. Initially liquid, but gradually become thick and sometimes mixed with blood.
Diphtheria disease also can sometimes attack the skin and cause ulcers (ulcers). The ulcer will heal in a few months, but it will usually leave marks on the skin. Immediately consult a doctor if you or your child shows any of the above symptoms. The disease should be treated promptly to prevent complications.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Diphtheria.

To establish a diagnosis of diphtheria, initially the doctor will ask some things about the symptoms experienced by the patient. Doctors can also take samples from the mucus in the throat, nose, or ulcers on the skin to be examined in the laboratory.

If a person is suspected of contracting diphtheria, the doctor will begin treatment immediately, even before any laboratory results. The doctor will advise him to undergo treatment in the isolation room at the hospital. Then step treatment will be done with two types of drugs, namely antibiotics and antitoksin.

Antibiotics will be given to kill the bacteria and cure the infection. The dose of antibiotic use depends on the severity of the symptoms and the length of the patient suffering from diphtheria. Most patients can get out of the isolation room after taking antibiotics for 2 days. But it is very important for them to continue to complete the consumption of antibiotics as recommended by doctors, ie for 2 weeks.

Patients will then undergo a laboratory examination to see whether there is bacterial diphtheria in the bloodstream. If diphtheria bacteria is still found in the patient's body, the doctor will continue the use of antibiotics for 10 days.

Meanwhile, administration of antitoxin serves to neutralize toxins or diphtheria toxins that spread in the body. Before giving antitoxin, your doctor will check whether the patient has any allergies to the drug or not. In the event of an allergic reaction, your doctor will give you a low-dose antitoxin and slowly increase it while you look at the patient's condition.

For patients who have difficulty breathing due to gray membrane barrier in the throat, doctors will recommend the process of removal of the membrane. While patients with diphtheria symptoms of ulcers on the skin is recommended to clean boils with soap and water thoroughly.

In addition to patients, people who are nearby are also advised to see a doctor because the disease is highly contagious. For example, households who live in a house or medical personnel who handle diphtheria patients.

Doctors will advise them to undergo tests and give antibiotics. Sometimes diphtheria vaccine is also re-supplied if needed. This is done to increase protection against this disease.

Diphtheria Complications.

Treatment of diphtheria should be done immediately to prevent the spread as well as serious complications, especially in children. It is estimated that 1 in 5 sufferers and elderly people over 40 years died from complications of diphtheria.

If not treated quickly and appropriately, toxins from diphtheria bacteria may trigger some potentially life-threatening complications. Some of them include:

Respiratory problems. 

Cells that die from toxins produced by diphtheria bacteria will form a gray membrane that can inhibit breathing. Membrane particles can also decay and enter the lungs. This has the potential to trigger an inflammatory reaction in the lungs so that its function will decrease drastically and cause respiratory failure.

Heart damage.

In addition to the lungs, diphtheria toxin has the potential to enter the heart and cause inflammation of the heart muscle or myocarditis. These complications can cause problems, such as irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and sudden death.

Nerve damage. 

Toxins can cause people having difficulty swallowing problems, urinary tract problems, paralysis or paralysis of the diaphragm, and swelling of the nerves of the hands and feet. Paralysis of the diaphragm will leave the patient unable to breathe and thus requires a respirator or respirator. Diagfragm paralysis may occur suddenly at the onset of symptoms or weeks after the infection heals. Therefore, people with diphtheria who have complications are generally recommended to stay in the hospital for up to 1.5 months.

Hypertensive diphtheria.

This complication is a very severe form of diphtheria. In addition to the same symptoms as ordinary diphtheria, hypertensive diphtheria will trigger severe bleeding and kidney failure.

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