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Tetanus: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments


Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that affects nervous system of body and causes muscle tightness throughout the body.
Rectal Website: Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that affects nervous system and causes muscle tightness throughout the body. This disease is also called lockjaw because the infection often causes contraction in the jaw and neck muscle. However, it can ultimately spread to other parts of the body. In the absence of treatment, tetanus can lead to death.
Approximately 10 to 20 percent of tetanus infections are lethal. Tetanus is an emergency medical condition that needs immediate hospital treatment. Fortunately, by using vaccination, disease can be prevented. However, the vaccine will not last until the end of your life. Tetanus booster vaccines should be injected every 10 years to ensure your safety.
Due to the easy access to the vaccine, tetanus is rare in Iran but in other countries that do not have strong immunization program yet is common.

Causes of tetanus:

A bacterium called clostridium tetani is a tetanus agent. Spores of this bacterium can be found in dust, soil and dander of the animal’s body. Spores are small reproductive organs produced by specific organisms. They are often resistant to extreme environmental conditions, such as high temperatures.
When these spores enter to bloodstream through a deep cuts or wounds, the patient can become infected. Then spores spread to the central nervous system and produce toxic that is called tetanosapasmine.
This poison blocks your nerves from the spinal cord to your muscles. This can lead to severe muscle spasm.
Tetanus infection can occur as follows:

• Open wounds

• Damage to dead tissue

• Burns

• Perforated wounds caused by tattoos, injections or injuries (such as nail plugs)

• Wounds infested with soil, stool or saliva

With the following, tetanus is less common:

• Animal bites

• Dental infections

• insect bites

• Sores and chronic infections

Tetanus does not spread from person to person. This infection occurs all over the world, but is more common in hot and humid weather with rich soil. It is also very common in populated areas.

Tetanus symptoms

Tetanus affects the nerves that control your muscles, which can make it difficult to swallow. You may also experience spasticity and fatigue in various muscles, especially in the jaw, abdomen, chest, back and neck.

Other common symptoms of tetanus are:

• Fast Heartbeat

• Fever

• Sweating

• High blood pressure

The incubation period, the time between exposing to the bacteria and the onset of the disease, is between 3 and 21 days. Symptoms usually appear within 14 days of the onset of the infection. Infections that occur faster after exposing to bacteria are generally more severe and have a worse prognosis.

How tetanus sickness is can be diagnosed?

Your doctor will perform a physical examination to check lockjaw symptoms, such as muscle stiffness and painful spasms. Unlike many other diseases, tetanus is not generally detected by laboratory tests. However, your doctor can still do tests to find out diseases that have similar symptoms.
These diseases include meningitis, a bacterial infection that affects the brain and the spinal cord, or rabies, a viral infection that causes brain swelling.
Your doctor will recognize tetanus based on your immunization history. If you have not been immunized or have not injected a booster vaccine, you are at high risk of tetanus.


Treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. Tetanus is usually treated with a variety of treatments and medications, such as:

• Antibiotics like penicillin to kill bacteria in your body

• Immunoglobulin tetanus (TIG) to neutralize the toxins that bacteria have produced in your body.

• Muscle relaxants to control muscle spasm

• Tetanus vaccine injection with treatment

• Cleaning the wound to eliminate bacterial source

• In some cases, a surgical procedure called a wound debridement is used to remove dead or contaminated tissues. If you have difficulty in swallowing and breathing, you may need a breathing apparatus or ventilator (a device that transfers air to and from the lungs).

The Causes of Tetanus

Severe muscle spasms resulting from tetanus can have serious health consequences, including:
Respiratory problems caused by spasticity of vocal cords (laryngospasm) and muscle spasms that control breathing.

• Pneumonia (infections of the lungs)

• Brain damage due to lack of oxygen

• Abnormal heart rhythm

• Bone fractures and spinal fractures due to muscle spasm and seizure

• Secondary infections due to prolonged stay in the hospital


Vaccination can prevent tetanus infections, but only when boost it to get your vaccine according to the plan. In the United States, tetanus vaccine is also given to children as part of a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, also called DTap injection. DTap is a combination vaccine that protects person against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. However, this vaccine does not provide lifelong protection.
Children should receive a booster vaccine at age 11 or 12. Adults then require a booster vaccine called the Td vaccine (for tetanus and diphtheria) every 10 years. If you are not sure to have injected the vaccine, consult your physician.
Proper treatment and wound healing can also help to prevent infection. If you get wounded and think your wound may have contact with your skin, see your doctor and consult to your doctor about the risk of tetanus.

How do you estimate future of Patient suffer from tetanus

Without treatment, tetanus may be fatal. Death occurs in children and the elderly. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 11% of reported cases of tetanus have led to death in recent years. This figure reaches 18% in people over 60 years of age. In non-vaccinated individuals, 22% of deaths were reported.
A quick and convenient treatment will improve your vision. If you think you may have a cut or wound, see a doctor or emergency department immediately. Even if you have been infected with tetanus once, and you have not been vaccinated, you can still get it again.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccination is very effective. Tetanus is very rare in people who have been completely vaccinated or have received a booster vaccine in the last 10 years.


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