Diphtheria in a child: symptoms that every mother should know
Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease caused by a corynebacterium. It is also called diphtheria bacillus. Especially dangerous is diphtheria in a child. Symptoms of this disease are expressed by the defeat of the upper respiratory tract and general intoxication of the body.
At once we will make a reservation: independent treatment is dangerous for a life of the child! At the first suspicions on this disease urgently consult a doctor!
Before describing how the diphtheria in a child, the symptoms and methods of its treatment, let's look at what this infection is.
How can I get infected?
The path of transmission is airborne, from the sick person. It is rare to get infected from the items that he used. There are also massive cases of infection of people, for example through infected dairy products. If ten days have passed since the infection, a person is considered infectious until the time when the causative agent of the disease is removed from the body. This can only be clarified through bacteriological research.
The most common age, in which diphtheria is affected by children, is from three to seven years. Breastfeeding does not threaten infection - they have the immunity received from the mother through the placenta. The older the child, the lower his protection from this ailment.
The infection penetrates through the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth, sometimes the mucous membranes of the eyes and genitals are damaged, as well as the areas of the injured skin. The causative agent falls on them and forms films.
The main signs of diphtheria in children are inflammation. They can be different depending on the type:
- diphtheritic inflammation is located in the oropharynx, the film densely grows to the tissues and is severely separated.
- croupous inflammation usually affects the trachea and larynx. The film lies on the surface and is easily separable.
So, you think that the baby has diphtheria. Symptoms of this disease are usually as follows:
1. The defeat of the mouth and pharynx, rarely the nose, trachea or larynx. In extremely rare cases, the lesions affect the skin, ear and eyes.
2. Diphtheria croup (severe cough): isolated, affecting only the upper respiratory tract or flowing against a background of other lesions (for example, the respiratory tract plus nose and oropharynx).
3. Increase body temperature to 38 degrees.
4. General malaise.
5. Dry cough and hoarseness of voice, which in a day or two develop into bouts of barking coarse cough, breathing becomes difficult and becomes noisy, and the voice may even disappear altogether.
If the diphtheria progresses in the child, the symptoms become more difficult - the patient does not sleep and does not eat, behaves restlessly, on the face - fear and anxiety. The skin becomes gray, the child suffocates, cold sweat appears. The temperature drops below normal. There is involuntary urination and convulsions, the child can die from lack of oxygen.
Therefore, it is very important in time to see a doctor who will diagnose and immediately begin treatment for diphtheria. Children with timely access to medical care already in the first day will come the suspension of the course of the disease, and the next day there will be a marked improvement in the condition: the breathing becomes smooth and the cough is rare and mild. The voice will be restored only after 4-6 days.
How to treat?
Treatment is carried out in a fixed manner with the observance of bed rest. Introduced antidiphtheria serum, antibiotics are prescribed (using drugs of the group of macrolides, aminopenicillins, cephalosporins of the third generation: medicines "Cefalexin", "Cefazolin", "Cefaclor", "Cefuroxime", "Midekamycin", "Azithromycin", "Penicillin"). The duration of antibiotic therapy is from 5 to 10 days. In severe cases, hormonal treatment is administered.