Tetanus patient. Man who has been infected by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. The bacterial spores multiply and produce a toxin that acts on nerves controlling muscle activity. This causes stiffness of the jaw (lockjaw), facial and trunk muscles. Painful muscle spasms may develop, and if these affect the chest wall or larynx, fatal asphyxia may result. In the early stages, the tetanus toxin can be treated by intramuscular injection with tetanus immune globulin (TIG). This does not treat the toxin that has already attached to nerve endings. Injections of the tetanus toxoid and wound cleansing helps deal with the bacteria. Photographed in Africa.
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