Tetanus Research Paper

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Tetanus is a bacterial disease that causes muscles throughout the body to painfully tighten. This disease mainly attacks muscles of the neck and jaw, which is why it is commonly called “lockjaw” (1). The disease manifests through cuts or wounds that become infected by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. This bacterium is found in many places in the environment such as soil, manure, feces or saliva. Common ways of transmission can be from nail and needle punctures and burns. Other least common but possible ways of getting tetanus can be from clean superficial wounds, insect bites, dental infections and IV drug use (2). Tetanus can infect people of all ages but is most common in newborns. Neonatal tetanus is most commonly found in rural areas because sterile delivery procedures may not be available. The tools used to cut the umbilical cord or perform a circumcision may be dirty and contaminated. Neonatal tetanus usually leads to infant death. It was estimated in 2000 that about 200,000 babies died…show more content…
Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) is a series of vaccinations that is given to infants starting at 2 months until the age of 4 to 6. Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) is a booster shot administered to children ages 11 to 12. Pregnant women also receive a shot of Tdap during pregnancy to prevent whooping cough. Every ten years a booster shot of tetanus and diphtheria (Td) is given to adults (5). The tetanus vaccine is a toxoid vaccine that uses inactivated toxins to combat symptoms of the disease. Carle and Rattone first discovered the etiology of tetanus in 1884 by injecting animals with the pus of infected humans. It was later discovered that tetanus antitoxins could neutralize the disease. In 1924, the first vaccine was produced by P. Descombey to combat tetanus caused by wounds during World War II (4). Today, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline manufactures tetanus vaccines

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