Neonatal Tetanus: What are the symptoms and how to prevent it
Tetanus is a fatal disease of the central nervous system, caused by the toxin of the tetanus bacteria. It usually enters the body through an open wound. Tetanus bacteria live in the soil and manure, but can also be found in the human gut, animal saliva and other places.
Tetanus occurs more often in warmer climates or during the warmer months.
1) Transmission of Tetanus to children
- Tetanus is not a contagious disease. It occurs to people who have had a sore or a deep wound of the skin. It is also seen in the umbilical section of infants in underdeveloped countries.
- This occurs in places where vaccination against tetanus is not widespread. Women may not know how to properly treat the strain after the baby is born. After being exposed to tetanus, it can take from 3 to 21 days before symptoms begin to appear. In infants, symptoms can take between 3 days and 2 weeks to develop.
These are the most common symptoms of tetanus. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
2) Symptoms of Tetanus of infants
- Muscular contractions very serious. The first affected muscles are those of the face and jaw (trismus), which prevents the baby from sucking. Stiffness of the abdominal and back muscles and contraction of the facial muscles.
- The body will stiffen and the newborn will tend to arch. It can also convulse in case of light, noises or even at the simple touch
- pulse acceleration
- Painful muscle spasms near the wound area (if they affect the larynx or chest wall, they can cause asphyxiation)
- Difficulty swallowing
Symptoms of tetanus may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult your child’s doctor for a diagnosis. If nothing is done, the death of the child is as quick as it is painful.
3) Prevention of Neoanatal Tetanus
It is recommended to children five doses of DTaP. It is a combination vaccine that protects against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. The first three doses are given at the age of 2, 4 and 6 months. Between 15 and 18 months the fourth dose is given. The fifth is given when a child enters school at the age of 4 to 6 years.
Neonatal tetanus can also be prevented by vaccination of the pregnant woman with tetanus toxoid. Administered during pregnancy, the vaccine protects not only the woman but also the baby during the first months of life.
b) Good hygiene:
Nevertheless, it is also quite simple to avoid infection with the bacillus by adopting good hygiene.
It is the precarious conditions in which some women give birth in developing countries that are responsible for the large number of cases in the world.