Diphtheria: what should be known about the disease that Dr. Komarovsky predicts in Ukraine?
Currently, the largest outbreak of measles outbreaks in Ukraine has been recorded in recent years. In this regard, the well-known pediatrician Yevgeny Komarovsky, on January 16, 2018, published an official video address in which he talked about the disease and called for the protection of himself and his children from it by vaccination. In the same appeal, the doctor Komarovsky noted that, in his opinion, if the situation with immunization in Ukraine does not change, after the bark in our state will come much more serious illness – diphtheria. These words make us think about what, and what do we actually know about diphtheria? How can you keep it safe?
Diphtheria and diphtheria toxin
Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease that is very dangerous to life. This is a severe inflammation of the upper respiratory tract (in most cases), eyes, skin. The main threat during this illness is not inflammation, but the toxin produced by the causative agent of diphtheria, which causes the damage to the cardiovascular and nervous system.
Diphtheria is caused by bacteria, the so-called diphtheria sticks, the disease is transmitted by air droplets, much less often – through household items.
Diphtheritic toxin has a very negative effect on the myocardium, developing myocarditis, as well as it can provoke an infectious-toxic shock, a general intoxication of the body, severe disorders in the work of the nervous system.
The most vulnerable to diphtheria are children aged 3 to 7 years old, but anyone can get infected. Diphtheria is insidious by the fact that the signs of the disease are not manifest in all, and apparently a completely healthy person can be the carrier of this infection and distribute it without even knowing it. The incubation period of diphtheria is from 2 doses of 10 days, and the first symptoms can appear during this period of time after the infection.
Symptoms of diphtheria
The first symptoms of diphtheria include the following:
slight increase in body temperature;
sore throat, especially during swallowing;
redness and edema of the tonsils;
plaque in the form of a white or yellow-gray film on the tonsils.
After about a week, the mild form of diphtheria (usually only in the vaccine) ends with the recovery of the patient. If this does not happen, the disease becomes a serious toxic form, which is extremely dangerous to life.
For the toxic form of diphtheria, the following symptoms are characteristic:
very high body temperature (up to 39.5-41.0 ° C);
pallor of the skin;
sharply expressed edema of the tonsils;
difficulty in breathing;
a significant increase in cervical lymph nodes, it is painful to touch them.
These are manifestations of the most common form of diphtheria. There is another diphtheria of the nose, eyes, and skin. They are less common, but they are also very dangerous.
Treatment of diphtheria
Diphtheria is treated only in the infectious department of the hospital. Patients must enter anti-diphtheria serum, without which dies up to 50% of patients with acute toxic form of the ailment. But even the administration of such a serum does not give 100% guarantee for the positive end of the disease. In addition, there is currently a significant shortage of this whey in Ukraine.
Also, treatment involves the use of antibiotics, as diphtheria is caused by bacteria. Doctors can recommend local treatments for symptomatic treatment to improve the general condition of the patient. Therapy is long and nobody guarantees that a person can save.
About Diphtheria: what to know about the disease that Ukraine’s physician Komarovsky predicts? Diphtheria in the civilized world has almost been forgotten, and even until recently it was virtually impossible to find a doctor who saw her course, and not only read about the disease. However, everything can change now, since last years in Ukraine the situation with vaccinations, in particular, from this serious illness, is unsatisfactory.
According to the vaccination calendar approved by the Ministry of Health, diphtheria vaccination should be performed in children aged 2, 4, 6 months, then revaccinate at 6 years and 16 years. It is also important to remind all adults that they should make revaccination from diphtheria every 10 years throughout their lives, only then can we talk about protection from the disease. Only through preventive vaccinations can prevent the spread of diphtheria in Ukraine, as Yevhen Komarovsky said in his speech.