Tetanus is a condition that is much serious, a disease which gets occurs in the nervous system as it is caused by a toxin-producing bacterium. This condition usually causes high muscle contractions, particularly to your jaw and neck muscles. As this condition, tetanus was commonly known as lockjaw.
As the condition is much serious while the severe complications of tetanus can be led to many other issues as it's life-threatening. As much research and study going on, as there is no proper treatment was found basically as no cure for tetanus. As of now, the treatment is much available to control and manage its symptoms and complications till the effects of the tetanus toxin will eliminate.
The disease remains a threat to people who aren't up to date on their vaccinations. This disease is much common in developing countries.
The signs and the symptoms to occur for tetanus which will appear as the average it takes after the infection is most probably takes a week or a maximum of 10 days. The incubation period which the symptoms occurring period can range from 3 to 21 days.
Generalized tetanus was generally known to be the most common one among the others. Once the signs and symptoms begin for the disease it gradually and then progressively worsens the infected person over two weeks. The symptoms first appear or usually start at the jaw and it develops to get progress downward on the body.
Signs and symptoms of generalized tetanus include:
- Painful muscle spasms and stiff, immovable muscles in your jaw
- Tension of muscles around your lips
- Painful spasms and rigidity in your neck muscles
- Difficulty in eating or swallowing
- Rigid abdominal muscles
If there is a progression in the condition of tetanus then it results to have many painful, seizure-like spasms that last for several minutes. Usually, the neck and back arch, the legs become rigid, the arms are drawn up to the body, and the fists are clenched. The muscle gets the rigidity in the neck and abdomen and other problems and also it may result to have breathing difficulties.
The cause of this disease is the bacterium which results to have tetanus is called Clostridium tetani. This bacterium usually survives in a dormant state in soil and animal feces. The bacteria are much active as it only shut down after discovering their place to thrive.
When the dormant bacteria enter a wound or a cut on the body, where the condition is good for growing the cells are "awakened." As they are growing and divide, they release a toxin called tetanospasmin. The toxin impairs the nerves and worse the nervous system in the body that controls muscles.
The greatest risk factor for the infection of tetanus is not taking proper treatment even after 10 days of already being infected and also not being vaccinated.
As some other factors which increase the risk of having the infection of tetanus are:
- Cuts or wounds exposed to soil or manure
- A foreign body in a wound, such as a nail or a splinter
- Infected skin lesions in people living with diabetes
- An infected umbilical cord when a mother isn't fully vaccinated
As there is no accurate treatment for the infection of tetanus, the treatment only depends on the condition of severity to control the symptoms. However, it is typically treated with a variety of therapies and medications, such as:
- Cleaning the wound
- Muscle Relaxers to control muscle spasms
- Taking antibiotics like penicillin to kill the bacteria
- Tetanus Immune Globulin (TIG) to neutralize the toxins