Baby in hospital with tetanus, muscle spasm.

Baby in hospital with tetanus, muscle spasm.

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Credit: SUE FORD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tetanus. A baby with muscle stiffness caused by tetanus. This is a disease of the central nervous system caused by infection of a wound with spores of the bacterium Clostridium tetani. The spores multiply and produce a toxin which acts on nerves controlling muscle activity. This causes stiffness of the jaw (lockjaw), & of facial & trunk muscles. Painful muscle spasms may develop, and if these affect the chest wall or the larynx asphyxia may result unless a tracheostomy is performed and a ventilator provided. Prompt treatment with anti- toxin injections can produce a complete recovery. Contamination of the umbilical stump can cause tetanus in the newborn. Photographed in Vietnam.

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Keywords: baby, baby with, condition, disease, disorder, healthcare, hospital, lockjaw, medical, medicine, muscle spasm, spasm, tetanus, third world medicine, vietnam, with tetanus

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