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Tetanus facts.

Type
Published Article
Journal
International health news
Publication Date
Volume
9
Issue
4
Pages
2–2
Identifiers
PMID: 12179875
Source
Medline
Keywords
  • Age Factors
  • Bacterial And Fungal Diseases
  • Demographic Factors
  • Developing Countries
  • Diseases
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infections
  • Measurement
  • Mortality
  • Neonatal Mortality
  • Population
  • Population Characteristics
  • Population Dynamics
  • Prevalence
  • Research Methodology
  • Signs And Symptoms
  • Tetanus
  • Youth

Abstract

A short review of the symptoms, transmission and incidence of neonatal tetanus is presented. Tetanus is 1 of the 6 diseases listed by WHO as preventable by vaccination. It is caused by a common bacterium and transmitted to newborn babies by unsterile methods of cord care, such as use of unsterilized blades, and dressing with ash, dung or mud. It is 100% fatal if untreated, and even if aggressively treated by expert care, kills 50-70%. Tetanus 1st shows up as inability to suck, followed by facial and mouth spasms, with a typical facial grimace. Whole body stiffness, spasms and convulsions eventually cause death in 2-4 days. Tetanus cannot spread from 1 person to another: it is spread by wound infection from soil contamination. The incidence of neonatal tetanus in 9 selected developing countries is given, ranging from 7% of neonatal deaths in Sri Lanka to 70% in Kenya.

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