Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I was cut by a rusty wire yesterday. My first instinct told me to go see a doctor. Nevertheless I didn't and I didn't know why. Ego, perhaps?

Chances are that I've caught tetanus.

Anyway what's so big deal about tetanus?

Tetanus is caused by a species of bacteria that infests on the surface of rusty metal, in areas with hot, damp climate and soil rich in organic matter.

The bacteria enters the body via puncture wounds and it takes 8-15 days to incubate. The further the wound from the central nervous system, the longer it takes to incubate. In my case the wound is on my toe, so I figure I might experience some symptoms of tetanus in a weeks' time.

The bacteria releases tetanospasmin, a neurotoxin that affects skeletal muscle. As a result, the victim would suffer from facial spasms, followed by stiffness of the neck, difficulty in swallowing, and rigidity of pectoral and calf muscles. Other symptoms include elevated temperature, sweating, elevated blood pressure, and episodic rapid heart rate.

Spasms may occur frequently and last for several minutes with the body shaped into a characteristic form. Spasms continue for up to 4 weeks, and complete recovery may take months. Mortality rates reported vary from 40% to 78%, and it affects not only human, but also horses, dogs and other animals.

Anyway I should've got myself an injection to prevent tetanus but... miss me if I do get infected


1 comment:

  1. 6 days ago, I stepped on a non-corroded nail (like a broken sewing needle) and my last booster was 6 years ago. My doctor says I shouldn't worry. So far, there are no spasms yet but the would is still sore to pressure.

    I wonder if botox can treat tetanus since botox is effective at treating muscle spasms especially those severe enough to cause injuries. It would be expensive to use botox though. It seems ironic because both botox and tetanospasmin comes from Clostridium species and have the opposite effect.



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