Tetanus is caused by the bacterium CLOSTRIDIUM TETANI which exists in the soil in the form of spores . In the absence of oxygen these spores become active and release the toxin tetanospasmin causing tetanus or lock jaw .
Tetanospasmin is a neurotoxin that interferes with nerves that control muscle movements affecting brain and nervous system .
The bacteria enters the body through cuts , wounds , burns etc. and cause infection leading to tetanus which is treated by using tetanus vaccine .
➢ Bloody stools or diarrhoea
➢ Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
➢ Tetanic seizures
➢ Acute renal failure
The vaccine is given as follows :
Generally the tetanus vaccine is given in 5 shots
➢ 1st shot is given at the age of 2 months
➢ 2nd shot is given at the age of 4 months
➢ 3rd shot is given at the age of 6 months
➢ 4th shot is given at the age of 15-18 months
➢ 5th shot is given at the age of 4-6 years
Then the 1st booster is given at the age of 11-18 years and another booster for every 10 years
The vaccine is administered alone or can be administered with the combination of vaccines against diphtheria and pertussis which is generally termed as DPT vaccine.
TIG (Tetanus Immunoglobulin) can be administered as soon as possible even after vaccination which provides immediate short term protection against tetanus . TIG can be safely administered to pregnant and breast feeing mothers .