Tetanus, an infection that all starts with a wound

Tetanus is caused by the spores of the Clostridium tetani, a bacterium often found in topsoil as well as contaminated syringes, which gets into the body through a wound. Tetanus often starts with a simple accident, but without vaccination, the consequences can be very serious.

Tetanus usually takes up residence via a cut or a wound that may seem innocuous at first glance. The fact is, however, a wound should never be underestimated, because tetanus is a dangerous infection that can have serious consequences for people who are not vaccinated. And the incidence of tetanus is on the rise, partly because of new trends in body piercing and tattooing, techniques for applying body art with needles. That's why it's crucial to be vaccinated.

Tetanus is a bacterium that enters the body via a wound

Tetanus is caused by Clostridium tetani, a bacterium that's often found in topsoil, as well as in contaminated needles. When the bacterium insinuates itself into the system via a wound, it releases a toxin into the blood that causes the symptoms of tetanus. It's a really powerful toxin: a lethal dose for a man is around 7 millionths of a milligram.

People most at risk of tetanus are the elderly

The number one risk of tetanus is not being vaccinated. That's why the elderly are the part of the population most at risk of contracting it, because most of them were not vaccinated as children. The only thing to do is to book to have the tetanus vaccine as soon as possible. Children under 1 are also on the list of who should have the vaccine.

Rust isn't the greatest danger for getting tetanus

So what things can cause tetanus? Let's start by debunking a myth: it's not rust that's the danger per se. The spores that cause tetanus attach themselves primarily to filth. The germ that's responsible for tetanus is discharged in animal feces, and can survive for a long time in the environment as spores which can make their way into the human body, which is how infection occurs.

Tetanus can happen via lots of different types of wound

Tetanus can generally be the result of any wound caused by an object contaminated with the spores of the Clostridium tetanibacterium. Some of these wounds can, in situations where there's a lack of hygiene, be the result of the latest fashion trends in body piercing and tattooing if done with unsterilized needles. It's not surprising that tetanus could be lying in wait as a result.

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