For this bacterium reproduces it is necessary that there is dead tissue as it occurs in wounds and burns, these fabrics provide the conditions requiring this germ to multiply and produce the toxin. It is acquired to contaminate the wound with substances from the soil or by contact with objects contaminated with animal feces.
In the past there were frequent cases of tetanus in newborn born by contamination of the umbilical cord wound, more recently cases have been described of this disease associated with the realization of tattoos and piercings.
Tetanus is characterized by painful muscle contractionsOnce the toxins enter the body, they can affect the nervous system after 7 to 21 days of incubation, resulting in very painful muscle spasms that can tear muscles or produce bone avulsion fractures.
Muscle involvement is of such magnitude that patients are rigid, with extended or arched back, contract the jaw producing the appearance of having a forced smile called risus sardonicus, respiratory muscles, and gastrointestinal tract also shrink hampering breathing as well as food intake which leads to the death of the patient if appropriate treatment is not started , this consists of antibiotics, relaxing muscle and administration of tetanus immunoglobulin. Once the treatment the person recovers completely without being sequels.
Vaccination is the best way to prevent tetanusThere is specific vaccination against tetanus, tetanus is, it is available alone or in combination with other vaccines that enable protection against various diseases in a single vaccination. These combination vaccines are the triple, the pentavalent and hexavalent the latter includes tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, hepatitis B, Haemophilus and polio;
Scheme of tetanus vaccination includes three doses in the first six months of life more three the first two years, the second at age 6 and the third at age 10, later is recommended to do a new reinforcement to 60 years of age when it has properly fulfilled the childhood immunization schedule. In those who have not been properly vaccinated, it is recommended to apply a vaccine every 10 years.
People who have had tetamos not develop permanent protection so it should also be vaccinated. Vaccinated people undergoing chemotherapy lose the protective effect of the vaccine by what should be revaccinated.
In the case of a contaminated wound or have several hours at the time of be treated if not known well as the tetanus vaccination, or it is unknown that it has been carried out, is recommended to apply a dose of vaccine and complete the scheme of three doses with monthly interval and then a dose every two years for two years to complete five doses.
Article contributed by the team of collaborators.