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What are The Symptoms of Diphtheria and Treatment?

Diphtheria is a disease that can attack several parts of the body. Incubation period of dipitheria is 1-6 days, usually 2-3. There are several kinds of dipitheria therefore: Tonsillar dipitheria. The first signs are slightly raised temperature, and a rapid pulse. Then the tonsils become infected and covered with a membrane which cannot be detached from them without bleeding.

A child may die from inability to breathe when the membrane obstructs the airway, unless he has a tracheostomy operation. However, the main reason for death is that the dipitheria germ produces a poison (toxin) which damages the heart muscles and results in cardiac failure. This happens within the first 2 weeks of the illness. When it does occur there may be very rare recoveries.

Another trouble caused by the action of this toxin is paralysis of the swallowing muscles, eye muscles, respiratory muscles, and lastly limb muscles, due to the action of the toxin on nerves. Fortunately, the damage is usually temporary, provided the children get good nursing, they can survive.

As it has these complications of obstruction of the larynx, cardiac damage, and paralysis, dipitheria is a very dangerous disease.

Before 1940 in England and many other European countries it caused many deaths among children, about 3000 a year in England alone.

Another form of the disease is nasal dipitheria characterized by crusts and bloody discharge from the nose, and the third kind is dipitheria of the skin, particularly dipitheria infection of slight cuts and sores, and producing small ulcers. Such sores are very difficult to clear up and often are not diagnosed as dipitheria; this is, in fact, the most common form of dipitheria in many tropical countries and the infection gives children an immunity.

Tonsillar dipitheria was common in Europe until immunization was begun. It is rarely reported in Africa and dipitheria antibodies can be found in the cord blood of nearly all babies born in the continent; the mothers must therefore have come into contact with the germ.

What probably happens is the most cases of it are due to infection with the mild form of the germ, and most of this is skin infection which goes unrecognized.

Cause of Dipitheria

A bacterium called Corynebacterium dipitheria. There are three distinct types of this germ, but only one produces a lot of dangerous toxin.

Source. Other children who have the disease. There are also some who carry the germ itself.

Dipitheria Route

Spread by air, droplet infection. Moreover, the discharges from dipitheria ulcers or nasal discharge are very infectious, and can contaminate children's toys, books, or clothes; other children can pick up the infection from these.

Susceptibles. Those who have never been infected or immunized before, especially children.

Treatment of Dipitheria

This disease must be treated in hospital as the complications can be fatal. It is treated with antitoxin and penicillin or erythromycin.

Some of the complications occur late, for example a child who starts speaking in a strange way due to paralysis of the palate some time after a sore throat should be sent back to hospital.

- Most of dipitheria affects the skin and this needs treatment with penicillin.

Dipitheria Prevention

Immunization against dipitheria has been one of the great triumphs of medicine in this century. What was once a terrible disease which killed many children in Europe has now become very rare because of immunization.

The vaccine is injected subcutaneously on three occasions, 4-8 weeks apart. The vaccine is usually now combined with the vaccines against whooping cough and tetanus (triple vaccine, or DPT).

It should be offered to children as early as possible after the age of 2 months. A booster dose is needed 1 - 2 years later, and again once within the third year.

Signs and Symptoms of Smallpox, Control and Treatment

Smallpox is a communicable disease. The symptoms of smallpox usually begin 12-15 days after the person makes contact with the virus; this period between the person catching the infection and feeling ill is called incubation period, and differs in each disease. First comes a high fever and shivering (rigors), then severe headache, backache, and aches in the limbs; there may be some coughing too. Two or 3 days later the rash breaks out and with it the patient becomes even more ill, and usually many die of smallpox.

How Smallpox is Distributed

The way smallpox gets distributed around the body goes as follows;

There will be more spots on the face and limbs than on the trunk, and on the face - the rash may be thicker on the upper than the lower.

On the leg it is thickest on the feet, and thicker on the lower leg than the upper.

On the arms it is thickest on the hands, and usually thicker on the forearm than the upper arm–infact it is centrifugal–running away from the center.

It avoids flexures–protected parts such as the axillae and groin, and appears particularly on exposed and irritated parts.

Evolution of the rash. First macules (blotches) appear, then papules (raised see spots), then vesicles (little blisters containthog clear fluid), then pustules (blisters containing pus) and finally, if the patient survives, then 'scabs'.

This gradual change from macule to pustule takes 6-8 days in smallpox. A very severe thick rash with spots touching each other gives a poor a poor prognosis.

There are two kinds of smallpox–smallpox major (variola major), and smallpox minor (variola minor or alastrim). Major smallpox kills over half of those infected, while alastrim kills only 1 percent (though it can disfigure the face and cause blindness as much as major smallpox can).

Cause. The smallpox virus.

Source. Always other people who have the disease.

Smallpox Route

By aerial spread, droplet infection, and close contact, or from anything the patient has touched such as cup, spoon, bedpan, clothes, bedding. Thus laundry workers can get it even though they never see the patient at all.

Moreover, the disease can also spread to those who bury the corpses of smallpox patients. It is highly infectious.

Smallpox Susceptibles

All who have never been vaccinated or had the disease are in danger of smallpox infection. Also, old, people who have not been vaccinated since they were children 40 years or more ago.

Those people who have been vaccinated within 3 years seldom contract the disease.Those who were last vaccinated 10 or 20 years before might also be infected by the disease ones they were exposed but there's is mild, with few spots only, and death cases are very rare (modified smallpox).

Smallpox Treatment

Because this is such a highly infectious disease, cases should be removed to an isolation ward and not be nursed at home. Removal of a case should be supervised and all contacts must be vaccinated.There is no readily available treatment that affects the virus, so only penicillin and other antibiotics can be given for secondary infection such as pneumonia.

Eyedrops of sulphacetamide or tetracycline eye ointment should be used if the eye is involved. The patient must have adequate fluids.

Smallpox Prevention

By vaccinating all infants, and revaccinating them when they are at school and again in adult life, especially when there is any case of smallpox in the neighbourhood. Mass vaccination campaigns. Surveillance for cases.

Vaccination Technic. Multipile pressure with bifurcated needle.

Control of Smallpox Epidemic

Isolation of all cases in a special smallpox hospital. Examination and vaccination of all contacts.

Mass vaccination of the whole country, especially at borders of districts, and in towns/cities where new people meet.

Symptoms Of The Bubonic Plague In The Middle Ages

Disease Picture: Bubonic Plague Symptoms has an incubation period of 2 to 5 days. Plague is a disease of rodents, only incidentally transmitted to man. When it is transmitted it sometimes causes the most terrible epidemic. It is not particularly confined to tropical countries, but can occur anywhere in the world. For example, when the plague, which was called the 'Black Death' came to England in 1355, it killed 1 million out of the 2 and half million population of that time. There was another severe plague epidemic in England in 1666, and there have been small epidemics up to the present time in many countries.

The symptoms of the bubonic plague in the middle ages begins suddenly with high fever, and soon the lymph glands in the groin become greatly enlarged, and are very painful. These enlarged glands are called bubos, and this form of the disease is known as bubonic plague.

There is also a most severe pneumonia due to plague, called pneumonic plague which can be transmitted by droplets in the air. In this form of plague, when untreated, death is inevitable within 3 days. In bubonic plague the death rate varies from 30 to 90 percent.

Cause. A bacterium called Pasteurella pestis.

Plague Source. The disease is endemic among a variety of wild rodents in many countries. Occasionally the disease is transmitted from them to hunters and other occupationally exposed people. However, epidemics arise only when the plague passes from wild rodents to domestic rats, and from these rats to human.

Plague Disease Route

The plague is transmitted from rat to rat, and from rat to man, by the rat-flea Xenopsylla cheopis. When an epidemic of plague breaks out among rats, the rats died in large numbers, the fleas are deprived of their natural food and then began to bite humans.

It is for this reason that the presence of dead rats in a place precedes the onset of plague. In a severe epidemic when pneumonic plague can occur, the disease is then transmitted from person to person, by means of an aerial route.

Bubonic Plague Susceptibles. As it is an epidemic disease of high mortality, against which few people have any immunity, both children and adults are equally susceptible.

Bubonic Plague Prevention

1. An epidemic in its earliest stage can be controlled by putting down DDT on rat-runs (rat always take the same route around building). The rats then carry the DDT on their fur to their nests, and so the fleas are exterminated both on them and their nestlings, and in the nest itself. DDT can also be blown into holes and into thatch, and put on the floors of houses when cases have occurred.

2. In order to prevent bubonic plague, as well as to improve food preservation, the destruction of rats should always play an important part in public health measures. Bush should be cleared away from homesteads.

3. Persons sick with plague must be isolated in a room which should be sprayed with insecticides.

4. In preventing bubonic plague, there is a good vaccine, and vaccination is useful, especially in rural areas, where antiflea and antirat measures are difficult to put into practice.

5. Antibiotics and sulphonamides can be given to contacts who have been exposed to the disease.

Treatment of the bubonic plague in the middle ages. Sulphonamides and antibiotics in different types of disease.

Signs and symptoms of Yellow Fever - Facts About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever has an incubation period of 3-6 days. This is an acute fever of which many mild and unrecognized cases occur. It is mainly confined to South and Central America and West Africa, but epidemics have occured in Southern Sudan, the Congo, Ethiopia, and sporadic cases in some other parts of the world.

In the mild yellow fever cases the only symptoms are mild fever and headache lasting for a few days, but in the more severed cases there is severe headache, backache, and high fever, followed by jaundice and vomiting (often black vomit), and diarrhoea. The death rate varies from epidemic to epidemic. In the 1940 Sudanese epidemic the death rate was 10 per cent. One attack is followed by lifelong immunity.

Cause. A virus.

Source. The disease is endemic in monkeys, but it is very mild among them. It is from these that most epidemics or sporadic cases originate.

Yellow Fever Route

The yellow fever virus can be found in the blood of an infected monkey or of an infected human being. A mosquito biting either of these may then bite someone else and thus convey the disease.

Sporadic cases occur in people living near forests, when a man is bitten by a mosquito which has previously bitten an infected monkey (jungle yellow fever). When, however the disease reaches a more quickly populated areas, or a town, then it is transmitted from man to man by the mosquito, and in this case the mosquito is usually one particular species called Aedes aegypti (urban yellow fever).

Yellow Fever Susceptibles. Any person living in a yellow fever zone who has not had an attack previously, and has not been vaccinated against yellow fever.

Yellow Fever Prevention

1. Control of the mosquito, especially in cities.

2. Yellow fever vaccination. There is a vaccine which has to be administered only once every 10 years, subcutaneously. The vaccine confers absolute protection. It is not in mass use in some parts of the world like East Africa, because of the very few cases reported there. It is, however, necessary for anyone in a yellow fever zone (including places like East Africa) who is going abroad to be vaccinated, and to obtain an international certificate.

It is also necessary for everyone entering a yellow fever zone for the first time to be vaccinated and obtain a certificate.

The main concern about yellow fever is to prevent its spreading to India and the Far East, where there are both monkeys and mosquitoes which would be capable of carrying it (receptive areas).

Something you need to know: Until the coming of aeroplanes it was never possible for yellow fever to spread to the East, because of the short incubation period, but with modern methods of air travel, a sufferer could easily take it to the East and cause a terrible epidemic there. Thus, a further precaution the insides of all aeroplanes in the tropics are sprayed with DDT before the doors are opened on landing.

Yellow Fever Treatment

There is no specific treatment, but complications are treated as they arise. Patients should be nursed under a net in bed during the acute stage, to prevent them infecting other mosquitoes, thus causing another muliplications of yellow fever infections.

What are The Signs And Symptoms of Rubella?

Rebella illness is a mild one. Incubation periode is usually 14-20 days, with an average of 18 days. There is slight fever at the begining, then some enlargement of lymph nodes. Typically, the suboccapital nodes (those at the back of the neck), but also cervical, axillary, and inguinal nodes, are enlarged.
The disease is short-lived and there are rarely any other symptoms except the rash and perhaps joint pains. This rash is not raised and only last a few days, and therefore it is not easily seen in dark-skinned children, especially as the disease is so mild that children are not usually brought in for treatment.
There are no complications for the patient himself. However, one serious complication can occur in the case of women who are in the first 3 months of pregnancy when they get the disease. In such cases, there is a chance that the foetus will be damaged and born with one of the following heart diseases:
1. Congenital catarat.
2. Congenital heart disease.
3. Microcephaly.
4. Congenital deafness.
These are serious defects but the risks must not be exaggerated. The chances that one of these conditions will occur in the baby are not 100 per cent (that is, it does not happen to all babies of mothers who had rubella in first 3 months of pregnancy, but only to some).
In how many these occur? It is not certain, but probably in less than half. This does not happen to women who are past the first 3 months of their pregnancy, nor to babies of any other women who get rubella before pregnancy begins.
Cause. Rubella is a viral disease.
Source. Other patients.
Route. Droplet infection by air.

Rubella Susceptibles

All people who have not had it before, of any age, but mainly children and adolescents.

Treatment of Rubella

Rubell is usually a mild disease. So, he there is considerable joint pain then aspirin may be giving. The enlarged lymph glands in the neck will room subside and need no treatment.
If there have been contacts who are in the first 3 months of pregnancy, they should be advised to see a doctor and given a letter giving the details.

Prevention of Rubella

A vaccine is usually available. It is best to allow young girls to contract rubella so as to become immune by the time they marry.

What Are The Symptoms of Filariasis?

Filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by a thread-like worm called filarial nematodes. There are three types: elephantiasis, loa-loa, and onchocerciasis or river blindness. This filarial nematode is transmitted to humans through adult mosquito bites. We are going to look at those three types including their symptoms, prevention, causes and even treatment of the filariasis disease:

1. Elephantiasis

Disease Picture: Filariasis occurs in almost every tropical country. This disease is manifested by gross and solid oedema of a limb–often of the legs or the scrotum. This, however, is the last stage of the disease. Earlier symptoms include lymphangitis and an allergic feverish reaction to the disease. There is also a form of filarial orchitis and hydrocele is a very common feature.

Elephantiasis Cause. A small worm called Wuchereria bancrofti. It is a curious fact that often microfilariae (embrionic filariae) are found in the blood-stream in large numbers, only at night. Their presence in the vast majority cases is harmless. Only in a few does the adult worm block a part of the lymphatic system and cause elephantiasis.

Disease Source. Other persons infected with filariae. In some parts of the world as many as 60 per cent of people are infected.

Route. The mosquito bites an infected person, the microfilaria is drawn into the stomach of the mosquito as it feeds on the blood, develops in the mosquito and then escapes from it the next time it bites.

Susceptibles. All persons are susceptible, but the gross signs of the disease are not visible until at least 20 years of age.

Prevention. The prevention of elephantiasis consists in the control of mosquitoes (like prevention of malaria) and the early treatment of cases, especially schoolchildren.

Treatment. Diethylcarbamazine, Hetrazan, administered by a doctor.

2. Loa-Loa

There is another form of filariasis called loa-loa, caused by a worm known as Loa-loa. It has a tendency to migrate a good deal under the skin, usually causing no symptoms, but sometimes causing itching, and occasionally swellings. (Calabar Swellings) in various parts of the body. When, however, the parasite appears in the eye it causes considerable swelling though not very much permanent damage. It is transmitted from person to person by the mangrove fly. Treatment is with diethylcarbamazine.

3. Onchocerciasis (River Blindness)

Disease Picture. Incubation period is 4-18 months. Onchocerciasis is another filarial disease. It occurs in Central America, in some parts of South America and in a belt in Africa from Ghana to the South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The main sign of the disease is the appearance of nodules under the skin, which can occur all over the body. There is also a condition known as lizard skin which is caused by this disease.

This nodules do little harm, but when one of them occurs near the eye, the microfilariae can cause blindness. In the localities affected in some countries, as many as 10 percent of the total population are blind from the disease, but in most places the incidence of eye complications is about 1 per cent of the affected population. Besides blindness, this disease causes chronic itching of the skin.

Cause. A filarial worm called Onchocerca volvulus.

River Blindness Route

The filariae are transmitted from an infected person to a previously uninfected person by the bite of a fly of the genus Simulium. These flies breed in shallow fast-flowing streams, the larvae attaching themselves to stones or the backs of crabs. The flies bite those who live or work near the river. Hence the name river blindness.

Susceptibles. All uninfected persons. Since the incubation period is about under 1 year of age.

Prevention. Affected villages may have to be evacuated, and the inhabitants live further away the river out of reach of the flies. The best method is to treat the infected stream water periodically using a very small concentration of DDT.

Treatment. Diethylcarbamazine in hospital.