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Tetanus is a bacterial infection that is caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani, which is found mainly in dust and dirt. Tetanus is often the result of a deep wound that allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream, producing a toxin known as tetanospasmin. This toxin can interfere with the nerve signals sent from your spinal cord to your muscles, leading to different symptoms including muscle spasms and fever. If you suspect that you have contracted tetanus, seek immediate medical attention. The following are some of the symptoms of tetanus.

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Muscle Spasms

Tetanus is a condition that is caused by a bacterial infection that affects the nervous system. It can impede your muscles from receiving signals from the spinal cord, causing spasms in the muscles to occur. People who become infected with tetanus usually experience a tightening of the muscles across the body as a result. As the condition evolves, the spasms may be made more intense, and in some cases, may even result in death. Tetanus is a medical emergency and warrants immediate medical attention. If you are in an area prone to tetanus, take necessary precautions.

spasms symptoms of tetanus
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Restlessness

Two other frequent symptoms seen in people with tetanus are general anxiety and increased irritability. Because the body is overwhelmed by the bacterial infection, the affected individual may have difficulty staying still or following instructions. They may also have problems communicating with others, and they may appear insensible to questions. This is often one of the first symptoms to be reported in tetanus patients. If you suspect someone of having tetanus, it's important to help them to seek out medical treatment.

sleep symptoms of tetanus
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Headache

If you become infected with tetanus, you may experience a headache. Symptoms tend to appear within eight days after initial infection, but they may appear as late as three weeks after contracting the bacteria. If you suspect an infection, contact your nearest hospital as soon as possible. The bacterial nature of this condition can cause headaches because it interferes with the nerves in the nervous system. When it comes to tetanus, prevention is key. Tetanus vaccines are widely available and are highly useful as a preventive measure. Besides a headache, you may also experience stiffness in the neck as well as fever.

aches symptoms of tetanus
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Irritability

Irritability is a telltale sign of tetanus and is likely to be accompanied by a host of other symptoms, including fatigue and restlessness. Tetanus can affect the psychological state of the individual by interfering with the nerve transmissions between the nervous system and the muscles. Patients who become infected may show signs of irritability at early stages. Usually, they will often drool and have a loss of appetite. The severity of the symptoms depends on many factors. Regardless, if you suspect the presence of tetanus, it's extremely important to get to the hospital.

pain symptoms of tetanus
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Trismus

Trismus - also known as lockjaw - is the hallmark symptom associated with tetanus. It refers to the reduced opening of the jaws that is often caused by spasms in the affected muscles. Tetanus causes widespread muscle spasms, making it difficult to control certain parts of the body, including the jaws. The jaws may open or close without warning, and numbness may occur. If this loss of control extends to the lungs, the result could be fatal. That's why it is important to seek medical attention if you have any related symptoms.

medica; symptoms of tetanus
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Bending of the Back

One of the most devastating symptoms caused by tetanus is a bending of the back, medically known as opisthotonus. This word comes from Greek, and it refers to the tension in the back caused by muscle spasms. Such spasms create an involuntary bridging position. If the spasms are severe enough, they may cause certain bones to break. Dislocated joints can also occur as a result. The earlier symptoms appear, the more severe they are likely to be, which makes early treatment key. Prognosis for tetanus is bleak, so adequate prevention and treatment is fundamental.

back bend symptoms of tetanus
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Fever

Recovering from tetanus may take up to a few months, making this a long-term condition that requires plenty of treatment. If you become infected with tetanus, you may experience a fever shortly after becoming infected. Other signs or symptoms usually accompany the fever, including sweating and an increased heart rate. Depending on the location of the wound, your symptoms may be more or less severe. Fever can persist through the later stages of the illness. You may also experience chills throughout the body as well as increased blood pressure.

fever symptoms of tetanus
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Facial Spasms

Facial spasms are an early indication of tetanus, often appearing at the same time as spasms in the jaw. This symptom is a result of the infection and its effect on the nervous system; you may also experience spasms in the neck area. People around you may say that your facial expressions appear unnatural. Sometimes, the spasms in the face can cause a rigid grin called risus sardonicus. If you notice any changes in your facial muscles, contact your hospital as soon as possible. After this initial stage, symptoms are likely to worsen if the affected does not seek medical attention.

spasms symptoms of tetanus
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Difficulty Swallowing

Another symptom experienced by tetanus sufferers is difficulty swallowing. The reduced muscle control can make it difficult to swallow. Tetanus can block the signals between the nervous system and the body's muscles, causing stiffness and muscle spasms. This usually starts with the chewing muscles and slowly spreads to the neck, causing dysphagia. If the condition is left untreated, muscle stiffness may spread to the lungs, which may result in death. Tetanus warrants immediate medical attention. If the infection is located near the nervous system, symptoms tend to be more severe.

swallow symptoms of tetanus
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Difficulty Breathing

Another potentially fatal symptom that is far too common in tetanus patients is difficulty breathing. If the condition progresses from the muscles of the jaw all the way to the lungs, patients will often experience difficulty breathing, which may be deadly if untreated. Because patients experience muscle spasms, they are unable to control breathing. This is considered a medical emergency, and a ventilation machine may be necessary to keep the patient alive. If you suffer from tetanus symptoms, contact your hospital immediately.

breathing symptoms of tetanus

Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.