By Dr. Bikram Bhowmick, General Physician
Tetanus is a dangerous disease caused by clostridium tetani which enters the body through a cut by a contaminated object and these kind of bacteria are commonly found in mud and rusted articles.The bacteria releases a toxin called tetanospasmin, which disrupts the functioning of the motor nerves, locking movement of muscles and leading to muscle spasms that can be quite severe. It is not a communicable disease.
Symptoms of Tetanus-
If a wound (usually resulting from getting cut) after few weeks is followed by the symptoms mentioned below, then it has high chances of being an indicator of tetanus:
1. There is a resulting stiffness in your jaws, neck and any other muscles. Often, these may be accompanied by a grotesque expression resembling grinning, due to the spasms in the muscles around the mouth.
2. You begin to feel persistent spasms in the jaw (called lockjaw) and in the neck muscles.
3. There is a lack of appetite combined with a feeling of restlessness.
Prevention and Treatment of Tetanus-
1. You should immediately consult a doctor.
2. Getting vaccinated with injection Tetanus toxoid within 48 hours of injury can prevent tetanus.
3. Diazepam and chlorpromazine are two medications that might be used to control the muscle spasms.
4. You may be advised to take the aid of some artificial life-support mechanisms in case the muscle spasms start affecting your respiratory system too.