What are the Types of Tetanus?

What are the Types of Tetanus?


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What are the Types of Tetanus?

, What are the Types of Tetanus?Tetanus is a serious but easily preventable infection caused by Claustridium tetani. Tetanus may occur from a minor injury, of which the individuals may not be even aware. Clinically tetanus is divided into four types

  1. generalized tetanus,
  2. Neonatal tetanus,
  3. local tetanus and
  4. cephalic tetanus.

Generalized tetanus:

Generalized tetanus is the most common clinical types of tetanus, account for more than 80% or all cases of tetanus. In generalized tetanus the symptoms of tetanus (i.e. prolonged and persistent contraction of muscles) starts in upper part of body and slowly moves down the body. For example, the first symptom of generalized tetanus is trismus or lockjaw, which is followed by facial spasm, stiffness of neck and dysphagia (difficulty of swallowing). Later on there is rigidity/spasm of chest muscles and calf muscles. Other symptoms of generalized tetanus are fever, hypertension, rapid pulse rate, sweating etc. Muscle spasm may occur frequently and last for several minutes and body takes characteristic shape during muscle spasm.

Neonatal tetanus:

Neonatal tetanus is a type of generalized tetanus, which occurs among newborn infants. Symptoms of neonatal tetanus appear 4 to 14 days after birth, averaging one week. Infants who do not acquire passive immunity against tetanus (by immunization of mother during pregnancy) are at risk of developing neonatal tetanus and a common problem in developing countries (accounts for approximately 14% neonatal deaths). Neonatal tetanus is rare in developed countries. Neonatal tetanus occurs through unhealed umbilical stump, when umbilical cord is cut with a non-sterile instrument after delivery.

Local tetanus:

This is a less common form of tetanus, where there is spasm/contraction of a group of muscles in an anatomical area (generally at the area of injury). This is a milder form of tetanus and has fatality of approximately 1% only.

Cephalic tetanus:

This is a rare clinical form of tetanus. There may be any not history of injury and occurs due to middle ear infection (known as otitis media) with Claustridium tetani, which is normal commensal in ear. This form of tetanus may also occur due to injury to head and involve cranial nerves.

Image courtesy of David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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