Brief description of the disease and its prevalence in modern conditions
Tetanus - is one of the most dangerous infectious diseases, which is characterized by the release of a deadly toxin and extremely rapid clinical course. To understand the severity of tetanus, it is enough to know that 30 to 50% of patients die, even if they have been vaccinated against tetanus. In areas where medical care is very poorly developed, the mortality rate of patients can reach 85-90%.
Tetanus is caused by the vital activity of bacteria that enter the body through wounds and other skin injuries. The most favorable conditions for the breeding of pathogens tetanus are formed in the hot and humid environment, so the greatest number of deaths from tetanus recorded in equatorial Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, even in relatively prosperous Europe tetanus every year kills thousands of lives, so to speak about its safety for developed regions is not yet necessary.
The causative agent of tetanus infection and ways
Tetanus belong to the family Bacillaceae. Under normal circumstances, tetanus multiply in the intestines of animals and humans, without causing them any harm. When injected into the wound and the absence of oxygen before the bacillus entirely peaceful change. They are beginning to produce toxins, which is considered one of the strongest bacterial poisons. It works very quickly, and the first signs of tetanus occur in humans within a few hours after infection. Note also that the waste products of pathogens are not absorbed through the mucous membrane, and are completely safe if ingested, although when heated and exposed to ultraviolet light they die very quickly.
As already said, vaccination against tetanus may need a person for injuries and damages the skin or mucous membranes. The most dangerous in this regard, deep puncture wounds, inside which are formed the ideal conditions for the development of harmful microorganisms. In addition, the infection can be activated in case of burns, frostbite, inflammatory diseases. Newborn baby tetanus is passed through the umbilical cord, cut poorly treated tools.
Caution should be observed, always and everywhere, because in some cases the infection entered the body, even through small wounds caused, for example, when you step bare foot on the prickly plant or accidentally damage the skin thorn.
The clinical picture and symptoms of tetanus
Scientists distinguish four periods of the disease.
Symptoms of tetanus incubation period
- It has a duration from a few hours to 60 days. At this stage, the bacteria penetrate into the culture medium and start to multiply with the release of the toxin. Patients may feel a headache, sweating, muscle tension, irritability, chills, insomnia, and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
Symptoms of tetanus in the initial period
- The patient has stupid nagging pain in the wound. At the same time it appears the first characteristic signs of tetanus, such as lockjaw - twitching masticatory muscles due to which sometimes can not open his mouth.
Symptoms of tetanus during the height of the disease
- Usually lasts 8-12 days, but in severe cases, this period may be increased by 2-3 times. The duration of the active phase of tetanus depends on how soon the patient went to the doctor, whether vaccinated against tetanus, as are large-scale damage to the skin. At this stage in full force manifested main symptoms of infection:
- seizures of facial muscles, causing the person has a characteristic "smile";
- difficulty swallowing food;
- strong pressure of muscles of the limbs and abdomen;
- painful cramps;
- excessive sweating;
- apnea, cyanosis, apnea;
- urination disorders and blood circulation;
If the patient has not been immunized against tetanus, it usually dies of respiratory muscle spasm or paralysis of the heart muscle. By the death of lead and other factors: myocardial infarction, sepsis, embolism, pneumonia.
The period of convalescence
- In the event that experts start time to treat tetanus, symptoms gradually go "out." This stage can last for 2 months, during which time the patient is particularly vulnerable to the risk of various complications, so it is necessary to constantly monitor his condition.
Treatment of Tetanus
All the treatment of tetanus should be performed by experienced doctors in the hospital. The treatment of tetanus include:
- the fight against tetanus in the area of primary focus (opening wounds, removing dead skin areas, sanitation and aeration);
- the introduction of tetanus toxoid;
- relief of severe seizures;
- maintaining vital functions of all body systems;
- prevention of complications;
- nutritious food, rich in vitamins and trace elements to strengthen the immune system.
Sick tetanus desirable to place in a separate room to avoid the negative influence of external stimuli. His bed is organized non-stop for the post of permanent monitoring of the human condition. If a patient can not eat on their own, it is introduced it with a special probe. Recommended liquid food products (milk, soups, fruit drinks). Water should be enough to compensate for fluid loss from sweating. Treatment of tetanus lasts from 1 to 3 months.
Prevention of tetanus
Preventing tetanus is conducted in several directions. It is especially important to avoid injury and to conduct informational work among the population. In addition, children aged 6 months to 17 years be vaccinated against tetanus. If you avoid serious injury can not, then all unvaccinated people recommended emergency prevention of tetanus.