Tetanus: acute infectious disease of the central nervous system caused by the toxins of Clostridium Tetani.
This disease, often referred to as lockjaw, is a very serious illness. It is found on almost anything, but is not a common illness. This is because the disease must be transported to the lower layers of the skin and must be sealed there to incubate and grow. Tetanus causes the muscles in the body, often the arms and facial region, to contract but not have the ability to relax. It’s a state of rigamortis while the person infected is still alive. The tetanus toxin is one of the most potent poisons known, yet is found in your body right now. It is often located in feces and soil, but the intestinal enzymes destroy the toxin. The mortality rate for a person infected is about 40% and that number almost doubles if the person is very young or elderly. The muscles in the chest and abdomen eventually tense up and cause the person to either stop breathing, or stops their heart. So what does a person do to prevent such an illness form happening to them? The first thing to do is get a booster shot or vaccination from the tetanus toxin. With that in place, the chance of tetanus is almost 1%. There is still a chance that the person will become infected though. So treatment has been made possible but it is still in developmental stages. The first thing that is done is the body is treated with a sort of tetanus antitoxin in conjunction with human immune globulin. This, plus a percentage of dead Tetani, cause the body to create cells capable of eliminating the toxin found outside of the intestine. Deep puncture wounds are the main source of entry for tetanus. The toxin, known as tetanospasmin, travels to the brain through the blood. If tetanus is in the body for more than 15 days, and the body registers this, then the treatment is almost useless but may cause comfort. Often, a patient will have to have an IV of penicillin and sometimes, the tissue is removed from the body. For comfort, the doctors may also give muscle relaxants. The booster shot is given for 4 years to children from age two to age six and is known as a DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus) vaccine. Adults are recommended to get the shot about ever ten years or so. Clean all wounds, flood scrapes with water, and use antibacterial agents on any wounds that do not bleed and the tetanus bacteria will be difficult to get. Being given a tetanus shot is becoming a mandatory precaution in emergency rooms. This is allowed due to the fact that a booster shot will not case harm to the body.