Is there a way you can summarize into 2-3 paragraphs? It seems like you just copied and paste from the website. Oh and also no wikipedia please. Our professor doesn't allow us to get information from that website. Thanks.
Hi - Please see updated answer.
1. Provide a brief history of this disease.
The German physician Arthur Nicolaier discovered the tetanus bacillus in 1884.
Etiology discovered in 1884 by Carle and Rattone. Produced tetanus in rabbits by injecting their sciatic nerve with pus from a fatal human tetanus case in 1884.
Kitasato in 1889 isolated the organism from a human victim, showed that it produced disease when injected into animals. Reported that toxin could be neutralized by specific antibodies.
In 1897, Nocard demonstrated the protective effect of passively transferred antitoxin. Passive immunization was used for treatment and prophylaxis during World War I.
Tetanus toxoid was developed by Descombey in 1924. It was widely used during World War II.
Tetanus is from the Greek words “tetanosand teinein”, meaning rigid and stretched, which describe the condition of the muscles affected by the toxin, tetanospasmin, produced by Clostridium tetani
2. Identify cause (both genus/species names)
Tetanus is caused by Clostridium tetani, which are bacteria normally found in soil and manure. They enter the body through a wound in the skin, such as a scratch, a puncture from a rose thorn while gardening, or an animal bite.
Once inside, the bacteria multiply and release a neurotoxin (poison) called tetanospasmin and travels around the body via the bloodstream. This causes the symptoms of tetanus to develop. If it is not treated, tetanus can cause death, especially in infants and the elderly.
3. What is the epidemiology of this disease? (when, who, where, etc...)
Tetanus is an international health problem, as spores are ubiquitous. The disease occurs almost exclusively in persons who are unvaccinated or inadequately immunized.
Tetanus occurs worldwide but is more common in hot, damp climates with soil rich in organic matter. It is more common in developing and under developing countries. Tetanus is more prevalent in industrial establishment, where agricultures workers are employed.
Tetanus neonatorum is common due to lack of MCH care.
4. What is the disease process in the human body? (I want an overview of the overall process, DO NOT provide a list of symptoms)
Tetanus symptoms usually emerge about 10 days after initial infection, however this can vary from 4 days to about 3 weeks, and in some cases may take months. In general, the further the injury site is from the central nervous system, the longer the incubation period. Patients with shorter incubation periods tend to have more severe symptoms.
There are muscle spasms and muscular rigidity (muscles become stiff). Stiffness usually starts with the chewing muscles, hence the name lockjaw. Muscle spasms then spread to the neck and throat, causing dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Patients usually go on to have spasms in their facial muscles.
Breathing difficulties may result from neck and chest muscle stiffness. With some patients, abdominal and limb muscles are also affected.
In severe cases the spine will arch backwards as the back muscles are affected - this is more common when children are infected.
5. Are there any treatments (provide an overall view, NOT a list of medicine or dosages etc...)
General measures to treat the sources of the bacterial infection with antibiotics and drainage are carried out in the hospital while the patient is monitored for any signs of compromised breathing muscles. Treatment is directed toward stopping toxin production, neutralizing its effects, and controlling muscle spasms. Sedation is often given for muscle spasm, which can lead to life-threatening breathing difficulty.
In more severe cases, breathing assistance with an artificial respirator machine may be needed.
The toxin already circulating in the body is neutralized with antitoxin drugs. The tetanus toxin causes no permanent damage to the nervous system after the patient recovers.
After recovery, patients still require active immunization because having the tetanus disease does not provide natural immunization against a repeat episode.
6. Is there a vaccines? (current or in the works...)
Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccines
There are four combination vaccines used to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis: DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td. Two of these (DTaP and DT) are given to children younger than 7 years of age, and two (Tdap and Td) are given to older children and adults.
Children should get 5 doses of DTaP, one dose at each of the following ages: 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months and 4-6 years. DT does not contain pertussis, and is used as a substitute for DTaP for children who cannot tolerate pertussis vaccine.
Td is a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine given to adolescents and adults as a booster shot every 10 years, or after an exposure to tetanus under some circumstances. Tdap is similar to Td but also containing protection against pertussis. Adolescents 11-18 years of age (preferably at age 11-12 years) and adults 19 and older should receive a single dose of Tdap. Women should receive Tdap during each of their pregnancies (preferably in the third trimester between the 27th and 36th week). Tdap should also be given to 7-10 year olds who are not fully immunized against pertussis. Tdap can be given no matter when Td was last received.
"Tetanus (Lockjaw) Vaccination." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines>
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