Tetanus, also known as “Lockjaw”is one of the most serious diseases in the country that affects the body’s muscles and nerves. It is an easily preventable disease that results from a wound on the skin which becomes contaminated by the bacterium called Clostridium tetani. This bacteria is known to produce certain neurotoxins that interfere with the normal function of the nerves and the muscles and results in uncontrollable muscle spasms throughout the body.
Most of the cases of this disease in the United States are those contracted by a contaminated cut or a normal wound caused by accidentally stepping on a nail.
The symptoms of tetanus may take from five days to 15 weeks to first occur. The major symptoms of tetanus include a stiff neck and a jaw which makes it highly difficult to swallow or ingest leading to a lot of irritability. At the site of the wound, there may be an intense pain or tingling followed by spasms in the nearby muscles.
Spasms are the main symptoms of tetanus and may occur predominantly in the back, abdominal muscles, as well as the neck. Spasms of the neck, including the respiratory muscles may cause asphyxia and obstruct the air and food passage. The patients may also suffer from insomnia.
Treatment of tetanus is a tetanus shot which contains immuneoglobin given intramuscularly. This is the immediate treatment of tetanus. This also includes the diphtheria tetanus pertussis shot that can be given to patients.
The side effects of a tetanus shot include seizures, brain damage, as well as coma. Severe allergic reactions swellings in the mouth as well as wheezing may also occur. These tetanus side effects could also include vomiting, high fever and diarrhea.
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