What are the Stages of Noma Disease?

What are the Stages of Noma Disease?

What are the Stages of Noma Disease?

Noma disease, also known as cancrum oris, is a severe and disfiguring condition that primarily affects children in developing countries who live in extreme poverty and have compromised immune systems.

It typically progresses through several stages, each with its own characteristics and symptoms.

What are the Stages of Noma Disease?

Stage 1: Initial Symptoms

  • Noma disease often starts with non-specific symptoms like fever, fatigue, and pain around the mouth.
  • The child may lose their appetite and become irritable.
  • Redness and swelling may develop around the gums or cheek, resembling a mild infection.

Stage 2: Ulceration

  • As the disease progresses, a painful ulcer forms in the mouth, usually on the gums or inside the cheek.
  • The ulcer quickly enlarges and becomes deeper, causing tissue destruction.
  • The affected area may start to develop a foul smell due to tissue decay.

Stage 3: Infection

  • Without proper treatment, the ulceration worsens, leading to tissue death or gangrene.
  • The affected tissue turns black and becomes necrotic, meaning it dies due to a lack of blood supply.
  • The child experiences intense pain and may have difficulty eating or speaking.

Stage 4: Facial Damage

  • As the infection spreads, it can destroy large portions of the face, including the lips, cheeks, and nose.
  • The child’s facial features may become distorted, and they may lose teeth as the disease ravages the gums and jawbone.
  • Severe scarring and deformities can result, leading to long-term physical and psychological consequences.

Stage 5: Complications and Death

  • If left untreated, noma disease can lead to severe complications such as sepsis (blood infection) and organ failure.
  • Without access to medical care, the mortality rate for noma disease is very high, with many children succumbing to the illness.

Early detection and prompt treatment are crucial to improving the prognosis for children affected by noma disease. Treatment typically involves medicines to fight infection, nutritional help to manage malnutrition, injury care to promote healing, and surgical interventions to repair tissue damage and reconstruct facial features.

Dr. Shubham Agrawal

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