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Tetanus, an acute infectious disease

Tetanus, an acute infectious disease

Kolkata, Aug 17 (UNI) Tetanus is an acute infectious disease caused by spores

of the bacterium Clostridium tetani.

The spores are found everywhere in the environment, particularly in soil, ash,

intestinal tracts/feces of animals and humans, and on the surfaces of skin and

rusty tools like nails, needles, barbed wire, etc. Being very resistant to heat and

most antiseptics, the spores can survive for years.

Tetanus, or lockjaw, is a bacterial infection that is characterized by painful

muscle spasms, serious complications, and can lead to eventual death. Tetanus

is not transmitted from person-to-person. A person usually becomes infected

with tetanus when dirt enters a wound or cut.

The disease is caused by a potent neurotoxin that is produced by the bacteria

in the absence of oxygen.

Anyone can get tetanus, but the disease is particularly common and serious in

newborn babies and pregnant women who have not been sufficiently immunized

with tetanus-toxoid-containing vaccines. Tetanus during pregnancy or within 6

weeks of the end of pregnancy is called “maternal tetanus”, and tetanus within

the first 28 days of life is called “neonatal tetanus”.

The disease remains an important public health problem in many parts of the

world, but especially in low-income countries or districts, where immunization

coverage is low, and unclean birth practices are common.

Neonatal tetanus occurs when nonsterile instruments are used to cut the

umbilical cord or when contaminated material is used to cover the umbilical

stump. Deliveries carried out by people with unclean hands or on a contaminated

surface are also risk factors.

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WAAW: Our time with antibiotics is running out

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13 Nov 2018 | 1:21 PM

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World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018 - Think Twice  Seek Advice

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