Untreated Streptococcus pyogenes infections can sometimes cause injury to other parts of the body that appear long after the infections have healed. In diphtheria, toxin is absorbed into the bloodstream and circulates throughout the body, selectively damaging certain tissues that have appropriate receptors such as heart, kidneys, and nerves. Viral infections often pave the way for bacterial infections.
■ What is implied by the observation that symptoms of some diseases are observed only after the organisms are eliminated from the body?
■ What purpose would adequate ventilation serve in preventing the spread of streptococcal infections?
23.4 Viral Infections of the Upper Respiratory System 573
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