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What is tetanus

What is tetanus

Tetanus - an acute infectious disease from the group of anaerobic infections. He was exposed to animals and people.

It is characterized by damage to the nervous system in the form of generalized seizures, skeletal muscle, the possible development of asphyxia, rapidity of the clinical course.

Mortality without medical help reaches 90%.


This disease has been known since ancient times, the firstdescription of the clinical manifestations of tetanus given by Hippocrates. He observed symptoms of his own son, who died from this terrible disease. The study involved tetanus Avicenna, Celsus, Galen, and many other famous doctors of the past. But only in the 19th century it was found and developed tetanus tetanus serum. The most common disease is in tropical climates, although sporadic cases occur in all corners of the globe. More characteristic of tetanus in developing countries that lack the necessary preventive measures and emergency medical care.

As the disease develops

The causative agent of tetanus - tetanus exotoxinbacterial poison. Exotoxin - a product of life tetanus bacillus. By itself it is considered conditionally pathogenic microorganisms and lives in small numbers in the intestines of every person, without causing any harm. The fact that these bacteria can not pass through the intestinal wall. This pathogen becomes dangerous only when in contact with damaged tissue in areas where anaerobic conditions are created - the lack of oxygen. Ideal conditions for this - all kinds of wounds, puncture wounds, deep bites. Therefore, the development of tetanus peak is observed in the conditions of war and natural disasters.
Since the pathogen to enter the favorableconditions he begins to actively multiply and produce harmful to all living things exotoxin. With blood exotoxin spreads throughout the body and affects the spinal cord and other parts of the nervous system. This leads to the appearance of tonic convulsions and the beginning of the process of erythrocyte destruction. The incubation period averages 1 to 2 weeks, at which time the victim complains of a headache, sweating, muscle twitching feeling in the wound. In the future, despite the fact that the wound heals, the condition worsens - a voltage of masticatory muscles, starting with the opening of the mouth problems.
At the height of the disease depends on the speedaccess to medical care. As a result of muscle spasm difficult swallowing. It develops muscle rigidity neck, which is then rapidly lowered to the muscles of the back, neck, upper limbs and lower. Cramps are painful in nature, they can occur spontaneously, or appear from the stimulus - a bright light, touch and sound. In the event of seizures observed sweating, disturbed swallowing functions, respiration, urination, fever rises. The body begins to metabolic disorders, which affects the heart.

Treatment of tetanus

Usually, the diagnosis is based on clinicalpicture. The patient requires immediate hospitalization. Held opening wounds, her rehabilitation, the neutralization of the toxin using the tetanus toxoid. Appointed anticonvulsant therapy. Without the introduction of serum in most cases patients die of heart failure, pneumonia, sepsis, and other embolic complications. If timely assistance tetanus symptoms gradually passes.

Prevention of tetanus

Tetanus prophylaxis is mostly inthe introduction of anti-tetanus vaccine for all children, as well as emergency vaccination in wounds, trauma, frostbite, burns, surgical intervention in the internal organs. In such a vaccination also need women who have undergone childbirth or abortions outside hospitals.

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