The rare form of diphtheria occurred in a patient from Vysočina; the last time the disease appeared in the Czech Republic was in 1995. The source of the infection was probably a domestic animal, the State Institute of Public Health said on Thursday.
“The infection occurred in an immunosuppressed patient with another chronic disease.” But it is time to reassure the public because this is a rare case,” “said SZÚ director MUDr. Barbora Macková.
According to her, the infection is not related to the patient’s trip abroad or contact with a foreigner. “The presumed source of the infection is a pet kept by the family,” she added.
Mandatory vaccination has reduced the incidence
“The occurrence of diphtheria in our country has greatly reduced the mandatory vaccination, which began in 1946. The risk of infection generally increases with age, with a decrease in protective antibodies after vaccination, and is mostly related to contact with unvaccinated people or travel abroad,” explains the doctor Kateřina Fabiánová.
Diphtheria can take various clinical forms and, if detected early, can be treated well with antibiotics. It most often begins with fever, weakness, and sore throat, and over time, white-yellow infested areas appear on the mucosa, which cannot be removed without damaging the tissue and can spread.
The laryngeal form of diphtheria used to be a feared disease in infants and young children. It began with a wheeze and a barking cough and spread the stabs into the lower respiratory tract. Along with the significant swelling, the patient was also suffocated.
If the patient is not treated in time, the toxin enters the bloodstream and damages the cells of the heart, kidneys, and some nerve fibers. The nasal form of the infection is milder and manifests itself in bloody or purulent secretions and puffins in the nasal mucosa.