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The primary symptoms of
Tetanus are caused by
tetnospasm which is a
History of Clostridium Tetani
Arthur Nicolaier (1862-1942) discovered the tetanus
bacterium in 1884.
However tetanus only became a reportable disease in the
A vaccine was developed in the mid 1940’s.
Tetanus severity and mortality rate is done by score.
0-1 is 10% mortality rate.
2-3 is 10-20% mortality rate.
4 is 20-40% mortality rate.
5-6 is 50% or more mortality rate.
There was a severe outbreak in Sumatra during the year of
In Banda Aceh there were 40 cases and 20 deaths.
In Meulaboh there were 7 cases and 5 deaths.
The tetanus bacillus, is a spore-forming, anaerobic, gram-
The tetanus organism is a wound contaminant that causes
neither tissue destruction nor an inflammatory response.
The tetnospasm bacteria is a exotoxin.
Mode of Transmition
Tetanus can be found in soil.
The disease is transmitted when said soil gets into a open
cut or wound.
It is found around the world but is most common in areas
with warmer climates.
Sometimes lockjaw is the first symptom.
People often experience different first symptoms.
One of said symptoms is “Lockjaw”, the involuntary clenching of the jaw
Others begin with a headache and irritability.
The later symptoms include muscle stiffness and muscle
A high fever is common.
Involuntary contradictions of the facial muscles create an
Contradictions of the trunk muscles bend a person into a “U”
shape, having only their head and feet touch the ground.
Seizures, loss of bowel and bladder control are often
Sadly the person remains conscious throughout this ordeal
and is in extreme pain.
The most common and easiest way to avoid getting tetanus
is to receive the tetanus vaccine.
The vaccine is part of the regular childhood immunization
Thorough wound cleansing is also very important.
Most people are paralyzed and put on a medical ventilator.
Muscle relaxants and anti-seizure medicine is also very
Treating the wound also means removing the bacteria.
This usually means giving TIG (Tetanus immune globulin), anti-biotics
and then surgically removing an area of tissue around the wound.
Greene, A. (2007). Alan Greene Content: Tetanus. Retrieved
March, 31, 2009, from
Tolan, R. (2009). Tetanus. Retrieved March, 31, 2009, from
Internet, T. (2009). The Internet Wiki Guide to Tetanus.
Retrieved March, 31, 2009, from