A VACCINE PREVENTABLE ILLNESS
IDENTIFICATION AND DEFINITION
HISTORY OF TETANUS
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Once affected, common signs and symptoms include:
- Jaw cramping
- Sudden, involuntary muscle tightening
- Painful muscle stiffness
- Fevers and swears
- High blood pressure and pulse rate
TRANSMISSION OF TETANUS
The more common ways of transferring tetanus include:
- Wounds contaminated with dirt, feces, or spit
- Wounds that are caused from punctured skin, typically with a nail or needle
Some rare cases have been found in superficial wounds, insect bites, and surgical procedures.
COMPLICATIONS OF TETANUS
The tetanus toxin binds to your nerve endings. A complete recovery involves creating new nerve endings before the tetanus infection is cured.
Most of complications of tetanus revolve around the involuntary muscle spasms. The vocal cord and contract and restrict speaking. Bone fractures are common, especially in the spine. Other complications involve breathing difficulty, including pneumonia. Both of the breathing complications and severe bone fractures can result in death.
The population most susceptible to gain an infection of those never vaccinated and the older population who never received a boost vaccine. The risk of a fatality increases with age.
RECOMMENDED CONTROL MEASURES
- The best prevention for tetanus is a vaccine, such as DTaP, as well as keeping up with booster vaccinations every ten years.
- Tetanus in not common in the United States. The incidence rate is approximately 40 people in the US. Incidence in higher in developing countries where access to health care and vaccines is limited.
- Between the years of 1996 through 2009, an average of 29 cases were reported for each year. Those primarily affected never received the vaccine.
- From 1992 through 2000, there were 13 cases on neonatal tetanus cases within the US for children under the age of 15. 11 out of the 13 cases were unvaccinated due to religious reasons.
- 82% of children aged 19-35 months in the US were vaccinated in 2002.
- The incidence of tetanus among diabetics was three times more likely than a non-diabetic.
- In developing countries, neonatal tetanus in still an ongoing public health problem. In 2008, around 59,000 newborns died worldwide.