Wow after reading about Jenny at Little Green Notebook, I've re-educated myself on tetanus. It is something we easily forget about and need to be reminded that you need a booster every 10 years. I am sending all positive thoughts to Jenny and her family for a speedy recovery.
Here is a little information from the Mayo Clinic website on Tetanus:
The bacteria that cause tetanus, Clostridium tetani, are found in soil, dust and animal feces. When they enter a deep flesh wound, spores of the bacteria may produce a powerful toxin, tetanospasmin, which actively impairs your motor neurons, nerves that control your muscles. The effect of the toxin on your nerves can cause muscle stiffness and spasms — the major signs of tetanus.
Signs and symptoms of tetanus may appear anytime from a few days to several weeks after tetanus bacteria enter your body through a wound. The average incubation period is seven to eight days.
Common signs and symptoms of tetanus, in order of appearance, are:
- Spasms and stiffness in your jaw muscles
- Stiffness of your neck muscles
- Difficulty swallowing
- Stiffness of your abdominal muscles
- Painful body spasms, lasting for several minutes, typically triggered by minor occurrences, such as a draft, loud noise, physical touch or light
Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
Once tetanus toxin has bonded to your nerve endings it is impossible to remove. Complete recovery from a tetanus infection requires the growth of new nerve endings and can take up to several months. There is no cure for tetanus.
You can easily prevent tetanus by being immunized against the toxin. Almost all cases of tetanus occur in people who've never been immunized or who haven't had a tetanus booster shot within the preceding 10 years.