Types of childhood infections
Mass vaccination against mumps has led to certain changes in the nature of the spread of this disease. If earlier they were mostly ill for children aged 3-6 years, then in recent decades there has been a significant “growing up” of infection. Children 3-6 years old get sick relatively rarely, but the incidence among schoolchildren has increased by 14 times. Now schoolchildren are almost two-thirds of all cases, and the remaining third are in adults. Moreover, among those who have previously been vaccinated for mumps, more severe forms of infection are recorded.
At the moment, more than 30% of the adult population does not have immunity against this “childhood” disease. Frequent outbreaks of infection in closed groups. In adults, the course of the disease is not very different from the classical form. The disease is characterized by an acute onset with an increase in body temperature to 38-40 ° C, with the appearance of signs of general intoxication, pulling pains and a feeling of tension in the parotid region, tinnitus, most patients have bilateral lesions of the parotid salivary glands. Within 4-5 days, the lesion reaches a maximum and disappears after another 7-10 days.
For adults, frequent involvement in the process of the nervous system is characteristic, which indicates the severity of the disease. The leading place is occupied by orchitis, that is, inflammation of the testicles, which is recorded in one third of all sick men, and this is fraught with future infertility. The pancreas is often affected, which is manifested by abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. In about 4% of cases (and this is a lot), meningitis develops.
In connection with the increase in the incidence of mumps, an order of the Ministry of Health introduced vaccination (or for previously vaccinated ones, revaccination) of schoolchildren and students of 1-2 years of secondary and higher education institutions who did not suffer from mumps. In Moscow, the regional calendar of preventive vaccinations includes revaccination against mumps for students in grades 9-10 who did not receive it at the age of six.
Chicken pox usually develops in children, but it can also occur in adults, and, as is the case with other childhood infections, it is more severe and often leads to death. Although chickenpox affects adults in about 2% of cases, it is they who cause 25-50% of deaths from this disease. According to some authors, men predominate among patients, mainly aged 18-23 years.
Symptoms in adults are not particularly different from children, but the disease is much more severe. In more than 80% of cases, a moderate course of the disease is noted, and 8% is severe. In some cases, deaths are recorded. The disease in adults usually develops acutely with an increase in body temperature (up to 39-40 ° C), acute malaise, weakness, headache. The nature of the rash is quite typical, but characterized by profusion. For adults, an increase in lymph nodes, which is rare in children, is characteristic.
Severe, with subsequent complications, the course of chickenpox is observed at any age and is not always associated with the presence of other diseases, but at the same time, the course of the disease is most often observed in people suffering from blood diseases, severe congenital pathologies, as well as in older people.
Another problem associated with the activity of chickenpox virus in adults is another disease – shingles. Both diseases are caused by one type of herpes virus. During chickenpox, the virus enters the cells of the nerves and from that moment the infection freezes, as it were, waiting for the weakening of the immune system. The resumption of the activity of the virus in the nervous system, caused by a decrease in the intensity of immunity to the pathogen in adulthood and old age, leads to herpes zoster, characterized by intense painful itching at the site of a characteristic rash, covering several parts of the body along the nerves. Itching is preceded by intense pain in the affected areas. Lesions on the skin pass within 3-5 days (sometimes up to a month), and the disease itself lasts 10-15 days.
Whooping cough is perhaps the only “childhood” infection that is less scary for an adult than for a child. Both children and adults suffer from whooping cough, but it is quite rare to distinguish infection in the latter. According to statistics, the proportion of patients over 15 years old among patients with whooping cough is 5-12%. Probably, among adults, pertussis is more common, but often it is not detected and is not registered, since it proceeds without characteristic convulsive attacks. When examining people with persistent prolonged cough, a pertussis infection is detected in 20-26% based on the detection of antibodies in the blood.
In adults, the disease proceeds without convulsive coughing, manifested by prolonged bronchitis. Body temperature, as a rule, remains normal, and overall health is satisfactory.