Tetanus is an infectious disease caused by contamination of wounds from bacteria. The bacteria "Clostridium tetani" is the cause of tetanus which lives in the soil in a form called a spore. It affects the nervous system and causes painful, uncontrolled muscle spasms. Infection occurs when spores produce a very powerful poison that affects the muscles.
The bacteria live in soil, saliva, dust and manure. The bacteria enter in the body through a wound, deep cut. The infection causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw, which makes it impossible to open your mouth or swallow. If this happens, a person could die of suffocation.
Alternative name for tetanus is lockjaw.
The disease has 4 possible types:
Causes of Tetanus
Signs & Symptoms of Tetanus
The symptoms can occur anywhere from days to months after exposure to the bacteria. The time between the contamination of a wound and the first symptoms is usually less than 2 weeks but can range from 2 days to months. Tetanus often begins with
Diagnosis of Tetanus
Tetanus is diagnosed by its symptoms. The symptoms of tetanus are somewhat distinctive and a doctor can usually diagnose the disease simply by observing the patient. Knowing about the patient history of having tetanus vaccination in the past would also helps a doctor to make their diagnosis pretty sure. If necessary then a doctor may prescribe a blood test to identify the tetanus bacteria.
Side effects of the tetanus vaccine
The symptoms disappear with a few days.
Preventions of Tetanus
Tetanus can easily be prevented through vaccination. Usually DPT is given by a doctor which is a combination of vaccines that protect against Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis. The vaccine is given in five stages at different ages
The most important way to prevent tetanus is through complete immunization and proper wound care.
Treatments of Tetanus
Doctors play an important role in preventing tetanus. A child who does develop tetanus will be treated in a hospital, usually in the intensive care unit (ICU).
All open wounds are at risk to get tetanus. Wounds from objects outdoors or crush injuries are at higher risk.
When to seek Medical Advice
Always seek for Medical Advice: