Tetanus Symptoms and Causes
Often when we cut our fingers in a sharp tin accidentally, immediately advices start pouring in asking us to get tetanus immediately. This very tetanus is the topic of our article today. Usually we refer to the injection preventing the condition to arise as tetanus not knowing that this very tetanus is the disease condition. Mainly blamed on the bacteria Clostridium, these pathogens enter your body through a cut or opening and make your body their host feeding off of it. Once it enters the body and gets a suitable place to grow it produces neurotoxin which is a type of a poison. This disease however mainly affects the muscles and the jaws and can even cause the condition of locking jaws. Even though it may sound dangerous it is treatable and preventable too. However, prevention is always a step ahead than cure and therefore acknowledge the causes and signs for tetanus so that you can be aware of it from the next time onwards.
Bacteria attack on the body:
The name of the medical condition arose from the very name of the bacteria, the clostridium tetani. This bacterium is a pathogen that makes the body a host as it like a parasite feeds off it. Found in dust, air, manure, animal feces and even soil, this bacterium waits upon a nasty cut and once it finds a way to enter your body, millions of them start pouring inside. Once it enters the body they look for hostile environments for them to settle in and once this is done they start acting on the nerves of the body. Once it has settled inside, the bacteria produce a toxin called the tetanospasmin. This is extremely harmful to the body and being a toxin it cause serious infection at first and may lead to impairment of the nerves too.
Cuts and splices:
Often the rusted tin surfaces with a part of it jutting out sharp like a jaw’s teeth are enough for you to be a victim of tetanus. An only small cut will lead to a variety of problems such as infection at first and then through tat very cut the tetanus bacteria would enter. Once again the nesting process starts and they look for hostile environments before releasing their powerful toxin in our body. Even a small paper cut can lead you to tetanus as the germs are in the dust or air too. While you walk on the graveled pathway bare feet, often without realizing you might get cut in the silliest of the places. Now this bacteria is in the soil too which might then take advantage of the cut and use it as a pathway to inside your body.
Often you might get cut but that does not mean you would immediately be a victim of tetanus infection. Usually the cuts are cleaned and covered up well and therefore you got no worries about the bacteria entering you but here we are talking about the big gashes and splices. When the smaller ones like at the tip of your finger or a small cut in your ankle is concerned, we often turn a deaf ear to the smaller ones. This small wound’s when gets exposed or in contact with contamination, such as dirty water or soil and dust, the bacteria finds a pathway to enter the body.
Here we are talking about the simple burns one gets maybe due to some hot oil splattering whilst you were preparing the delicacy for the night. This burns are common and can be easily treated but make sure these burns are covered well and good since a simple burn from the flame of a matchstick might be enough for you to contract the infection.
These infection can be prevented by getting a simple tetanus injected in your body which would create an antibody that would fight the tetanus infection even when they enter but if you think you are down with it keep an eye out for these symptoms.
Usually there is an incubation period before the bacteria starts working on your body. This usually is a good one week or 10 day gap within which the bacteria enters your body and starts nesting before they rip off from their host. Within this period of time you can quickly inject yourself with the tetanus virus prevention and be tension free. Otherwise after the incubation period, you cut will start to swell up bad and red. These swollen area will soon be reddened and pus oozing. This release of pus is a bad omen which means the wound has already been contaminated. Even then do not stop cleaning the wound with Savlon or other antiseptic creams and washes. The antiseptic might help you in reducing the contamination.
Here is a fear of the tetanus spreading in your body. No matter where the cut was and where they emerged from, the bacteria through blood vessels travel all over the body eventually causing muscle stiffness. The muscles become stiff and hard. The worst scenario arrives when the facial muscles go through this stiffness. The stiffness of the muscles can be first felt which causes the condition lock jaw. The lock jaw is where your jaws become constricted and immovable due to the tetanus infection. Slowly the muscle spasming occurs in the throat muscles when a situation called the dysphagia, or swallowing difficulty arises.
As a result, form the muscle spasming and the tetanus affecting you might be down with sore throat where the throat affects the swallowing and gulping down process.
Fever and chills:
Along with the subsidiary problems, you may fall victim to a strong fever and chills that run down your body as you feel the weakness washing you off. The fever may reach heights with the strong body ache and would be definitely a fatigue and exhausted day.