By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
In August, two cases of tetanus among children were registered in the Altai Territory in southern Siberia, according to the regional department of Rospotrebnadzor.
Their parents refused to vaccinate against this disease, officials note. The health status of the children was not noted.
Tetanus cases were already registered in the area in individuals raspberry processing and transplanting indoor flowers in winter.
Tetanus is caused by a very potent toxin produced by the anaerobic bacterium, Clostridium tetani. The spores of this organism are very resistant to environmental factors and are found widely distributed in soil and in the intestines and feces of horses, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs, and chickens. Manure-treated soil may contain large numbers of spores.
These spores are usually introduced into the body through a puncture wound contaminated with soil, street dust, animal bites or animal or human feces, through lacerations, burns or trivial unnoticed wounds or by injecting contaminated drugs. At this point the spores germinate into the bacteria which multiply and produce toxin.
Depending on the extent of the wound, the incubation of tetanus is around 10-14 days.
Some of the common symptoms of tetanus are lockjaw, followed by stiffness of the neck, difficulty in swallowing, and rigidity of abdominal muscles. Other symptoms include elevated temperature, sweating, elevated blood pressure, and episodic rapid heart rate. Spasms may occur frequently and last for several minutes. Spasms continue for 3–4 weeks. The typical features of a tetanus spasm are the position opisthotonos and the facial expressions known as “risus sardonicus”. The death rate for this disease ranges from 10-80% depending on age and quality of care.
This disease in not transmitted from person to person. Tetanus can be prevented through vaccination.