Facts About Diphtheria
Diphtheria is a disease that leads to infection in the respiratory system of the human body. Most commonly seen in the age groups of 0-5 and 60 plus, this disease has the potential to affect the skin, the nose and the respiratory tract. The affected area is covered by a thick gray colored membrane. This is one of the many diseases which are contiguous and hence people in the crowded areas are more prone to it. Also included in the list are the ones who live in poor hygienic conditions and the ones who lack nutrition or inadequately immunized.
The main symptoms of this bacterial infection are soreness in the throat, experiencing chills, swollen neck and breathing problems. At times, it is known to affect the skin of the infected person. Diphtheria can be disastrous the proof of which was seen a couple of years ago when a lot of children died due to this epidemics breakage. The bacterium responsible for this disease enters through the mouth wherein it multiplies and spreads to the inner parts. It is only when it has grown enough does the swelling and the breathing problems arise.
This bacterium is not limited to the respiratory tract alone. It releases a toxin that has the capacity to mix with the bloodstream which can lead to infection in the other prominent organs of the human body. The organ that is most affected is the heart. There is good chance of a cardiac arrest that can lead to deaths in certain cases. There have been reported cases of nervous breakdowns where in the patient has be classified paralyzed. The other organs that can be affected is the kidney whose functioning can be compromised.
Some of the important facts to be considered about Diphtheria are:
1) It is a disease contiguous in nature and can have life threatening implications.
2) The main areas of attack the upper respiratory system i.e. the nose and the throat.
3) If it enters the bloodstream, it can affect the heart and the nervous system.
4) It is most prominent in the age group of 0-5 and 60+
5) High risks of its sustenance in the densely populated areas and those which lack proper hygiene.
6) Immunization can be achieved through the use of vaccines which are available everywhere.
7) The vaccination has to be routinely and appropriate to have proper protection.
The bacterium spreads through either direct contact with the infected person or through the re use of the items used by one. The transmission can also be transmitted through face to face contact as it can travel in the droplets that come out while speaking, coughing and sneezing. Touching the infected person's open sores is also a method of transmission. The diphtheria witnessed on the skin is known to produce a severe rash.
The disease takes as long as 2-4 weeks to infect the person. At times, the symptoms might not be visible or felt in the case of adults. The severity of the disease varies from person to person.