Human beings are natural hosts for chlamydia trachomatis virus. It inhabits the eyes, vagina,cervix, penis, urethra and anus. It is transmitted by contact with fomites such as towels; through hand-and-mouth contact from an infected eye to an uninfected eye; through vectors such as flies; through sexual intercourse and passage in birth canal with active infection (for newborns). Chlamydia Trachomatis infects the eyes, genitals and the respiratory system.
It is an ancient eye disease which is begins with acute inflammatory changes in the conjunctiva and cornea and progresses to scarring then leads to blindness. The infection is transmitted through vectors such as host flies which are spread through its bite. Endemic trachoma is treated with azithromycin. It is prevented through frequent face and hand washing, good hygiene, and clean environment (which decrease the occurrence of host flies responsible for spreading the disease).
C. Trachomatis causes sexually transmitted diseases. This is an uncommon sexually transmitted disease which involves the lymph glands of the genital area and is transmitted via sexual contact. The disease undergoes 3 phases:
1. There is the spread of infection in the blood, spinal fluid and other tissues which goes with fever, chills, and anorexia. Then painless ulcers start to appear which is frequently overlooked.
2. Appearance of inguinal lymphadenopathy is visible after the vesicular lesions have been healed which leads to the development of “bubos” (inflamed lymph nodes especially in the groin area). These bubos often grow bilateral and are very painful to some patients. These contain infected and purulent materials that must be aspirated.
3. Non destructive elephantiasis of the labia and the clitoris then follow in females and elephantiasis in penis and scrotum of males are also possible.
Other signs and symptoms which may be present to the patient are as follows: in female we have the vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods and post coital; painful coitus; dysuria; urinary urgency; fever; yellowish discharge from the cervix having foul odor; and cervical inflammation. In men we have the pus or milky discharges in the penis; dysuria and swollen testicles. In both sexes, bleeding rectum may also be a possible sign of C. Trachomatis infection. Newborns of infected mothers delivered via normal delivery are often infected with such disease.
The use of sulfonamides and tetracycline proved to give satisfying results when used in early stages. Late stages of the disease requires surgery as it treatment.
Respiratory Tract Involvement with C. Trachomatis
Newborns that are infected by the mother often have the 20% chances of developing respiratory infection due to C. Trachomatis. This is the common cause of pneumonia in infected newborns. Symptoms often manifested by newborns include: tachypnea, paroxysmal cough and eosinophilia. Systemic erythromycin is used to treat in severe cases.
Nurses especially those working in social hygiene clinics should conduct health classes to their clients in order for them to know what C. Trachomatis is all about and how it is prevented. Nurses should have the convincing power to influence clients with active infection to submit themselves and their partners for medical treatment. Influencing clients is done through presenting the truth behind the infection and how it can cause further harm to the body. The nurse should also advocate the use mechanical contraceptives such as condoms during coitus. Good hygiene should be emphasized to clients and clients with active infection should never share towels or other personal things with those household members that do not have the infection.
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