More about tetanus
Tetanus is a medical term, which is used for a very serous disease that affects the jaw muscle and other muscles. This disease is caused by a toxin - tetanospasmin. Clostridium tetani is the tetanus bacteria, and they can be found generally everywhere, especially in the soil. In case when a person is wounded, the tetanus bacteria can enter the wound somehow and then produce a toxin. This toxin has the negative effects on the nerves that control the muscle.
The most common symptoms of tetanus are spasm or stiffness of the jaw, neck and other muscles, as well as difficulty in breathing. These symptoms usually appear after several days or weeks from the time when tetanus bacteria get into the body. Spasm and stiffness can also appear in the chest and abdomen muscles, as well as in the back muscles. These spasms and stiffness can make the swallowing very difficult, and in some cases, respiratory muscles are affected so that the breathing is not easy. Furthermore, fever and muscular irritability can also be some of the warning sings of tetanus.
Treatment of tetanus
It is important to visit the doctor if the person has a deep or dirty wound. All the cases of tetanus are very serious and severe, because despite the treatment, tetanus can cause even a death, which usually occurs as the result from pneumonia, constriction of airways and instability in the automatic nervous system.
Immunization is one of the best ways of prevention from tetanus. Maintaining a good personal hygiene and regular tetanus vaccination are one of the methods of the process of immunization. The doctors usually prescribe some medications, such as antitoxin, antibiotics, and vaccine. Tetanus immune globulin is a tetanus antitoxin that can only eliminate the toxin which does not interfere with the nerves. To treat tetanus, the physicians also prescribe antibiotics that are administered by injections or orally. To prevent future tetanus, a tetanus vaccine is very effective.
Tetanus toxoid (T) is usually given to children five times every 2 months for the first six months after the birth. After that, when the child is 18 months old, a shot is given. The last tetanus vaccine is given when the child reaches 6 years. Sometimes, supportive therapies are required to treat tetanus. The treatments are usually long lasting and intensive care settings are necessary. Ventilators are mostly needed because in some cases the muscles must be paralyzed, which causes shallow breathing.