DISEASES
HOME REMEDIES
MEDICINES
Alcoholism
Allergy and Hypersensitivity
Asthma
Breast Cancer
Bronchiectasis
Bronchitis
Chronic Bronchitis
Coronary Thrombosis
Cystitis and Urethritis
Diabetes
Diphtheria
Drug Addiction
Embolism
Epilepsy
Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy
Fertility
Fractures
German Measles
Gonorrhoea
Gout
Haemophilia
Heart Failure
High Blood Pressure
Hydatidiform Mole
Inflammation of the Tubules
Iron-Deficiency Anaemia
Kidney Failure
Late Pregnancy
Leukaemia
Lung Cancer
Mastitis
Measles
Mental Handicap
Migraine
Miscarriage
Muscle and Tendon Injuries
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis
Oral Contraceptivess
Orgasm
Health tips


Diphtheria

Diphtheria is caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The organisms do not directly attack human tissues, but multiply in the throat and produce a toxin which is rapidly distributed throughout the body by the blood system. This toxin attacks nerve cells and the cardiac muscle cells. It may attack and destroy any form of nervous tissue; when the nerves controlling muscle groups are involved, paralysis can involve the throat, larynx, breathing muscles or limbs, up to seven weeks later.

The bacillus may invade the body at other sites. Cutaneous diphtheria can arise from any scratch or abrasion if the organism happens to be present. Another form is wound diphtheria. In western countries vaccination has abolished the disease but it is still a common cause of death elsewhere.

Symptoms

Often, before any signs in the throat are visible, an affected child becomes listless, pale and limp. Within a few hours white or cream-coloured specks can be seen on the tonsils. The specks rapidly join together and form a continuous membrane over the tonsils, which changes to yellow and then to brown or even black.

This laryngeal form of diphtheria usually occurs in children under five years of age who have not been immunized. As the growing membrane and swelling of the throat obstruct the airway, breathing becomes difficult, or even impossible, and the affected child turns blue from lack of oxygen in the blood (cyanosis).

Treatment

In severe cases an urgent operation may be needed to make an opening into the windpipe below the obstruction (tracheostomy) so that the child can breathe. Early diagnosis, with the injection of antitoxins, is essential, but if the toxin has become fixed to cardiac or nervous tissues, the damage has been done and antitoxin can only prevent further damage.

Parasitic Protozoa
Pernicious Anaemia
Placenta Praevia
Pleurisy
Pneumonia
Prolapsed (Slipped) Disc
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Schizophrenia
Senile Dementia
Sinusitis
Stones (Calculi)
Sub Fertility
Syphilis
Testicle
The Menopause
Tuberculosis
Urinary Incontinence
Varicose Veins

Medicare || Contact Us ||

 
Web (c) Onlinemedicare.org

Copyright © Onlinemedicare.org All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer - The data contained in the Onlinemedicare.org is provided for the information purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and shall not create a physician - patient relationship. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, injuries or other medical accidents arising from or in connection with the use of or reliance upon any information on this web site.