What is Tetanus?

What is Tetanus?


We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

What is Tetanus?

, What is Tetanus?Tetanus is a serious medical condition (bacterial infection) where there is prolonged persistent powerful contraction of skeletal muscles (muscle fibers), especially in jaw (and cause a condition known as “lockjaw”) and neck muscles. The cause of prolonged persistent skeletal muscle contractions are due to tetanospasmin, a powerful neurotoxin (affect nervous system) produced by the causative agent (bacteria) Claustridium tetani, a rod-shaped, Gram-positive, obligate anaerobe. By affecting muscles, tetanus cause difficulty in breathing and may lead to death.

What is the cause of tetanus?

Tetanus is caused by Claustridium tetani, a rod-shaped, Gram-positive, obligate anaerobic bacterium. Clostridium tetani, are commonly found in soil, dust and animal feces and spores of the bacteria enter human body through an injury (even minor injuries that a person may not be aware of can lead to entry of spores of Claustridium tetani) and produce a powerful neurotoxin, tetanospasmin.

Incubation period of tetanus:

The incubation period (time gap between entry of a microorganism and appearance of its first symptom) of tetanus may be few days to several weeks or months.  The average incubation period of tetanus is 7-8 days. Incubation period is short when site injury (site of entry of causative agent) is near to CNS (central nervous system) and long when site of injury is far from CNS. Short incubation period is also associated with more severe symptoms.

What are the signs and symptoms of tetanus?

The signs and symptoms of tetanus are due to neurotoxin tetanospasmin. The common signs and symptoms are (according to their appearance):

  1. Stiffness and spasm of jaw muscles due to prolonged contraction
  2. Neck muscle stiffness
  3. Difficulty in swallowing anything
  4. Abdominal muscle stiffness
  5. Spasm of other body muscles which is painful, and last for several minutes, which may be triggered by even subtle things such as noise, light, touch etc.
  6. Fever, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), hypertension, sweating etc. are other symptoms

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1 Comment

  • Avatar for Krimzon S.
    Krimzon S. April 08, 2013 05.36 am

    Tetanus or Tetano is a very dangerous disease! Good thing my parents gave to a doctor to inject an Anti-Tetanus drug into me.

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