Medical Video: Tetanus
You may have only known that you could get tetanus if you step on a nail on the ground. Is it true that the only cause of tetanus is that?
The cause of tetanus is bacteria
Tetanus is an infection caused by bacteriaClostridium tetani. These bacteria have spores to breed, and are able to survive for a long time outside the body.
When these bacteria enter the body, spores multiply rapidly and release toxins called tetanospasmin into the bloodstream. This toxin quickly spreads throughout the body and can damage the brain and nervous system.
Tetanospasmin interferes with signals that move from the brain to the nerves of the spinal cord to the muscles. The result will cause spasms and muscle stiffness. Severe cases of tetanus can make you stop breathing and die.
Everyone of all ages can get symptoms of tetanus. However, tetanus will usually become very serious if it attacks a newborn baby. Neonatal tetanus usually originates from an infection when breaking the umbilical cord of a newborn.
How can tetanus bacteria enter the body?
Tetanus bacteria can be found everywhere. Bacterial sporesC. tetani anywhere on our terrace. The most are in the soil and faeces of animals.
Bacteria can enter the body through open wounds or punctured contaminated sharp objects, such as being punctured by nails.
Tetanus bacteria will enter the body, and spores multiply into new bacteria and collect in the wound. This collection of bacteria will produce poisons that attack your motor nerves and directly cause the symptoms of tetanus.
In addition, other common methods of tetanus transmission include:
- Wounds contaminated with saliva or dirt
- Wounds caused by piercing objects such as nails, pieces of glass, needles
- Squashed wounds
- Injury to dead tissue
The rare modes of transmission of tetanus include:
- Operating procedure
- Shallow wounds (eg scratches)
- Insect bites
- Use of infusion drugs
- Injection into the muscle
- Dental infection