Diphtheria: Symptoms, Causative agent, Prevention, Control
It is an acute infectious bacterial disease, commonly affecting the throat, tonsils, larynx, and nose where it produces a greyish white false membrane of exotoxin. If this membrane spreads through air passage, it may block the entry of air and causes difficulty in breathing.
Corynebacterium diphtheriae ( Gram-positive, non-motile bacillus which produces powerful exotoxin)
Modes of Transmission:
1. Most commonly spread by droplets released by a patient or carrier.
2. Transmission also takes place through bacilli contaminated droplet nuclei.
3. Spread by direct contact with infectious cutaneous lesions.
4. Fomites (Cups, handkerchiefs, toys, thermometers, etc.) contaminated by nasopharyngeal Secretion of patients or carriers can also spread this infection.
Incubation period: It is 2-4 days.
- Fever with prostration ( collapse / weakness), toxaemia (blood poisoning by toxins from a local bacterial infection)
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Patches of greyish yellow membrane appear over the tonsils, throat. Swabs from this membrane show the presence of organisms.
( Mostly occurs in children’s in early school years .All effects are due to exotoxin released by bacteria i.e. Diphtheria toxin)
Prevention & Control-
- Immunization Active immunization ( Pertussis vaccine as well as DPT vaccine) Passive Immunization (hyperimmune gamma globulin)
- The combined DPT vaccine is injected intramuscularly in three dosse consisting of 0.5 ml vaccine at the age of one and half month, two and half month, three and half month .
- For specific treatment of diphtheria the diphtheria antitoxin prepared in horse serum is given intramuscularly.
4. Early detection of disease by pathological examination of nose and throat secretions, followed by complete treatment.
5. The isolation of detected cases and contacts in a well-ventilated room effectively prevents disease spread.
6. The articles of the patient should be disinfected and good hygienic conditions should be maintained.
7. Fluid diet should be maintained till the throat is clear.
8. Treatment with antibiotics such as Erythromycin.
F Y D Pharm Notes, Books, Syllabus, PDF, Videos