By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Rospotrebnadzor department for the Sverdlovsk region is reporting the first tetanus case in more than 17 years.


The patient is a 5-year-old unvaccinated child who contracted tetanus after falling off a bicycle and injuring his knees.

According to officials, in June 2021, in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, a 5-year-old child received abrasions in his knees after falling off a bicycle, while his parents did not seek medical help and thus delayed emergency prophylaxis against tetanus by almost 2 weeks. The patient was hospitalized for several months in an intensive care unit which included the use of a ventilator and he was in a coma.

Due to delay in treatment, the child suffered serious neurological disorders.

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. In agricultural areas, a significant number of human adults may harbor the organism.

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 ofopisthotonos 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.

There are really no laboratory findings that are characteristic of tetanus. The diagnosis is entirely clinical and does not depend upon bacteriologic confirmation.

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This disease in not transmitted from person to person. Even if you had tetanus and recovered, this potent toxin produces no immunity.