Tetanus: Symptoms, causes, and treatments

What is te  tetanus?

Tetanus is a serious bacterial disease, which affects the body's nervous system. It starts to contract the muscles (contraction), which causes great pain. Tightness affects only the jaw and neck muscles in particular. Tetanus interferes with your ability to breathe and eventually can become a serious threat to life. Usually tetanus is known as Lockjaw, because it causes the jaw to be locked in a manner.



With the help of tetanus vaccine, cases of tetanus have decreased considerably nowadays. However, incidents of tetanus in other less developed countries are still very high. Every year around one million people worldwide suffer from tetanus.

Symptoms of tetanus

After entering the body through the wound of the tetanus bacteria, its signs and symptoms can be seen at any time between a few days to a few weeks. After the infection, the average duration of its symptoms is seven to eight days.
Signs and symptoms of tetanus during infection can be:

  • Neck muscle stiffness
  • Stomach muscle stiffness
  • Simultaneously, having pain in the whole body for a few minutes, these pain usually begins with a very common mood, such as droves (drinking action), sharp noise, physical touch and light etc.
  • difficulty swallowing
  • Jaw joints and cramps

Other signs and symptoms which may include the following -

  • Increasing BP
  • fever
  • Sweating

When should I get to the doctor?

If your wound has become deep and serious, contact your doctor to get a tetanus booster shot. If you have not taken any booster shot in the last 5 years or you do not remember when you last met the tetanus booster shot then tell your doctor about it. If you have any kind of wound, ask your doctor about tetanus booster for it, especially if your wound has become contaminated with dirt, animal faeces or compost etc. If you have never had a tetanus booster shot in the last 10 years, or you are not sure when you had vaccinated earlier, then you should definitely go to the doctor.

Tetanus Causes

Why is tetanus?

The bacteria that cause tetanus are known as clostridium tetani, they are found in dust, soil and animal faeces. When these bacteria enter a wound (wounded meat), they produce a toxic substance called tetanospasmin. These toxic substances damage the motor neurons of the body. Motor neurons are nerves that control the muscles. The effect of toxin on motor neurons produces muscle stiffness and cramps, which is a major symptom of tetanus.

Why is the risk of tetanus increased?

In addition to the above reasons there are also some factors, which work to spread tetanus bacteria in the body. Which may include the following -

  • Contact of bacteria that spread any other infection on the wound
  • Swelling around injury 
  • Skin tissue
  • Failure to get immune deficiency or insufficient immunity (vaccination for immunity), tetanus booster shot at the time against tetanus.
  • The injury caused by some prick or penetration, resulting in the growth of tetanus spores in place of the wound.

The cases of tetanus also develop due to the following types of injuries.

  • Operation wound
  • Ear infection 
  • Wounds from animal bite
  • Wound due to pressing, crushing
  • Burning wounds
  • Foot infections
  • Infections in newborn infant bone born with insufficient immunized moms
  • Puncture wounds such as fork or sting, body piercing, injections for tattoos and drugs etc.
  • Gunshot wound

Prevention of tetanus
How is tetanus prevention?

Immunization against toxins can be easily prevented by tetanus. In almost all cases, tetanus is only for people who have never immunized the defense of tetanus or who have not received any Tetanus booster shot in the last 10 years.

Tattenas vaccine is usually given to children as part of Diphtheria and Tetanus toxides and ascleular pertussis vaccine. This vaccination is also known as DTAP. This vaccination provides protection against the following three diseases -

1. Tetanus
2. Hooping cough
3. Diphtheria, which is the infection of the     throat and respiratory system

The DTAP vaccine contains a series of 5 shots, usually it is applied to the children's arms or thighs in childhood. The vaccine is imposed on the infant - 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, 4 to 6 years.

Diagnosis of Tetanus

How is tetanus diagnosed
Tetanus is usually diagnosed through its symptoms. But a spatula test is also done to confirm it with symptomatic diagnosis. In this test, a spatula (a type of tool) is inserted in the back of the throat. If there is no infection, spatula produces a gag-reflex, so that the patient will try to get the sputula out of the mouth. However, if there is infection then due to spatula, the muscles of the throat are strained and the patient suppresses the spatula into the jaw.

Treatment of tetanus-
How is tetanus treated?

There is no treatment for tetanus yet, its treatment includes the treatment of wounds, medicines to reduce symptoms, and supervisory care.

Wounds Care - To prevent the growth of tetanus bacteria, it is important to take care of the wounds. In it there is a need to take out dirt, exterior (substance) and dead (tissue) tissues from the wounds.

Medicines -
  • Vaccine - Once you become tetanus, you can not make immunity against bacteria after that. Therefore, you may need to vaccinate the vaccine in future to fight infection with tetanus.
  • Antitoxins - Doctors can give antitoxin such as tetanus immune globulin (Tetanus immune globulin). However, antitoxins do not only make neutral toxic substances, they do not make any improvement in the nerve tissues.
  • Antibiotics - In order to fight tetanus bacteria, doctors can give antibiotics through eating medication or injections.
  • Sedative Drug - Doctors generally use powerful sedative drugs to prevent muscular pain.
  • Other medicines - There are drugs like magnesium sulfate and some types of beta blockers. These medicines help regulate some involuntary activities of the muscles (such as heartbeat and breathing), so they are also used. Morphine is also used to fulfill the above objectives and function of unconsciousness.
  •  Assistive Therapy - Infection of tetanus often requires intensive care and long-term treatment. Along with that, the patient may also need temporary help by the ventilator.
 Complications of tetanus
What problems can arise from tetanus?

Once the tetanus virus is found on the tip of the nerves, it becomes impossible to remove it. To get rid of the tetanus infection completely, new nerves are needed to increase, which can take several months.

The complications of tetanus infection include:

Bone breakdown - Excessive cramping can cause the backbone and other bones to break.

Disability - To control muscle cramps, powerful sedative drugs are given during the treatment of tetanus. Due to the use of these drugs, long-term instability or permanent disability can also happen. Infants infected with tetanus are causing the risk of cerebral palsy from seeking damage to the brain for a long time, with slight mental absence.

Death - Cramped muscle spasms in tetanus-induced, interfere with breathing and at that time the patient can not breathe at all. Failure to breathe is the most common cause of death.

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