Tetanus is a serious bacteria infection that affects the body's nervous system. Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, might lead to muscle rigidity, convulsions and death. Tetanus is a disease that occurs due to an infection caused by the Clostridium tetani bacteria that are found all around the world on the land, debris and a few animal faeces, as well as on the human skin.
Infection begins after the bacterial spores have moved deep into the body and have become active. Clostridium tetani bacteria are anaerobic, meaning that they grow best in areas with very little oxygen. Therefore, the deeper they travel in the body, the better their chances to live.
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Once tetanus spores become active, the microorganisms start creating a toxin called tetanospasmin, which connects to the nerves around the region of the wound. The tetanus toxin can also distribute and attach to the ends of nerves of the spinal cord and at neuromuscular junctions.
Local tetanus is limited to the region of the injury, cephalic tetanus is an uncommon type that influences the nerves of the face following a head injury or, infrequently, a resilient ear infection, and generalized tetanus influences a lot of the body and accounts for the bulk of tetanus cases. Neonatal tetanus is a generalized type of the infection occurring in newborns.
This is the reason why tetanus injections should be taken as soon as you get cuts and wounds. However, this injection has certain side effects. It can be followed by mild fever, tiredness, joint pain, nausea and muscle aches. There may be swelling, redness, pain and itching at the site of the injection.
There are also certain rare side effects. Patients can have problem swallowing, hearing, tingling of the hands and feet, seizures and muscle weakness. It can also result in a serious allergic reaction like a rash or itching or swelling on the face, tongue or throat. Some patients might feel dizzy and also have trouble in breathing.