Diphtheria alert in Tamil Nadu: what are the symptoms?
There has been an outbreak of the disease in two districts of the state. It starts off like the common cold, but can be fatal if left untreated.
Diphtheria, a deadly disease that spread in Tamil Nadu more than 30 years ago, is making news again. The disease is spreading rapidly in Coimbatore and Erode, the health department said. So far 50 persons have been admitted to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital with diphtheria.
The government has alerted hospitals across Tamil Nadu. Doctors have been advised to provide immediate treatment for those with diphtheria symptoms.
What is diphtheria?
Diphtheria is a throat infection. It is caused by a bacterium called Carinbacterium diphtheria. There are four types of these bacteria. They affect the throat, and the tonsils especially. On infection, there is swelling round the throat. This causes difficulty in breathing and eating.
The attack can cause sore throat, body pain, and fever. disease often attacks children aged 5 to 16 years.
Its a sign?
Throat pain, cold and dry cough are some of the symptoms. Difficulty in breathing is also a characteristic symptom of the disease. Some people also cough out blood.
Within two to 10 days of the onset of the disease, the symptoms appear. Initially it may look like a common cold or a respiratory problem.
The treatment process
Prevention is the best method. Vaccines are given to children at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks and one and half years of age. With early detection, the disease can be cured with drugs such as erythrin, penicillin, or anti-diphtheria serum. The disease spreads through the air. When the infection is detected, patients should be isolated and treated.
[Autotranslated from Tamil]