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Figure mismatches[edit]

The article say "often fatal" whilst the link ( at the bottom says "sometimes". IMO that's a big difference, further the number of reported cases in the US is in the same link given as fewer 60 cases/yr, whilst the article says around 150 cases annually...

I don't know which is correct of the two...

--andreala 07 July 2005

Incubation period vs likelihood of death[edit]

From the article: Incubation period length and likelihood of death are inversely proportional. It took me quite a while to parse that sentence and I'm still not sure I have it right. Does it mean that a short incubation period means a large chance of death? Or a short incubation period means a long likelihood of living before death? Can someone who knows what this means please clarify it in the article? Richard W.M. Jones 23:27, 14 January 2006 (UTC) A similar comment appears under 'Tetanus Prognosis' of 'The Merck Manual 7th Edition' (page 1177). I think its saying if the symptoms develop quickly the illness will be more severe. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stuart Anthony (talkcontribs) 02:33, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Vaccine inquiry[edit]

inquiry on tetanus vaccine. i was given tetanus toxoid and immunoglobin vax 4 mos ago. i would like to know the lenght or period of my immunity against tetanus for this vax

Doctors usually say that you should renew you tetanus vaccine every 5 to 10 years.

  • For adults, tetanus and diphtheria booster vaccination should be given every 10 years. However, if you suffer a deep wound - not just a scratch - and it has been more than 5 years since your last booster, you should get a booster within 48 hours. Just FYI, tetanus toxoid is the booster itself, and the immunoglobulin was to ward off the infection short-term because your physician felt you needed it. Immunoglobulin is not a part of a routine tetanus booster shot. I hope that helps. ddlamb 07:20, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Famous victims[edit]

list of famous people (such as john a roebling) who have died of this condition would be intresting - t ali —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 4 January 2006

Done, but if there are any that are missing (that also either have a wikipedia bio or can be sourced) please feel free to add them.--DO11.10 18:42, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Missing citatation[edit]

The statement "The risk from Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (whooping cough) is higher than the risk of vaccine side-affects" really needs a citation and preferably some supporting facts as well. There are a lot of different ways to calculate risks not to mention the fact that different countries would have different vaccine formulations.

Mystic eye 23:30, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Some very scary stuff here brah The.Corrector. 22:40, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

That sounds like an irresponsible and highly misleading statement. You would have to compare deaths to the disease before and after immunisation was implemented, rather than just look at the mortality/morbidity now. I'm going to delete it because these sort of misleading statements need to be removed, before they mislead people, rather than wait for someone to cite a source. Serrin 23:34, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Unsourced and POV statements in Prevention section[edit]

I've removed the following text from the Prevention section pending referencing of statements ("Some doctors", "acknowledged by experts") and other non sequiturs:

"Some doctors question whether vaccination prevents tetanus and is the reason for the low number of cases. This is because tetanus was a rare illness in the pre-vaccine era, and improved woundcare techniques is acknowledged by experts to be very important for the precipitous fall in rates from the late Victorian era through to the mid 20th century. Also according to blood surveys carried out by the CDC in the US about 30% of teens do not have protective antibody levels, as defined, and yet are not represented in the statistics. Of the on average 50 to 60 cases per year in the US, nearly all are aged over 50. It is theorised by skeptical doctors that this is due to low immunity in the aged, perhaps combined with poor nutrition. Many children are unvaccinated in the US, and yet they are not getting tetanus also."

Please discuss changes in this section of the talk page prior to re-addition. -- MarcoTolo 01:48, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree. All these claims look dubious, especially the following: Of the on average 50 to 60 cases per year in the US, nearly all are aged over 50.. In the medical literature, there are documented cases of tetanus among kids, teenagers and young adults in the US. In fact, according to these 1998-2000 figures, the highest incidence is in the "30-39 years old" age group. Complete reference. -- Hugo Dufort 19:28, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Why is there a link to anti-vaccine website "Vaccine Truth"?[edit]

There is a link to an "information" page located on the website. This website is a strong anti-vaccine advocate and states on its home page that "vaccines don't work". They rather propose homeopathy as an alternative (!) Are we certain we want to provide this kind of information to the readers? It would be more careful, if we really wish to provide a link to an anti-vaccine website, to give a warning of a side note. The claim "vaccines don't work" is misleading and outrageous. I have been to countries where people catch polio, tetanus and other diseases. The equation is simple: as soon as there is a polio vaccination drive, a whole generation of toddlers is totally protected against the disease, and they don't get sick. As soon as the vaccination drive stops temporarily, new cases pop up. If vaccines "don't work" as claimed on this counter-scientific site, how do they explain that correlation? Hugo Dufort 19:28, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

IMO you don't even need to go that far, my argument is that since this article is not about the tetanus vaccine, it should not include links to sites specifically about the vaccine. These would be more relevant in the DPT vaccine article. Hence, I have removed the link, among several other fixes.--DO11.10 06:07, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

complicated language[edit]

it would be good if simpler words were used to make this passage clearer —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:29, 15 January 2007 (UTC).

Get a life. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:10, 20 February 2007 (UTC).

If you need simple english, use the simple english language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yoyodo (talkcontribs) 16:49, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


Under treatment for mld tetanus, is says: 'Tetanus is definately (sic) fatal dude'

I haven't heard of that treatment before!

TC, London —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:17, 3 May 2007 (UTC).

Time limit to get the vaccination after puncture wound[edit]

How soon do you need to get vaccinated after getting a puncture wound for it to be effective against tetanus resulting from that wound? Ron Duvall (talk) 02:44, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to know this too. Very handy info. (talk) 22:13, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Probably as soon as possible —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yoyodo (talkcontribs) 16:50, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Alternate definition of tetanus[edit]

In addition to the disease, tetanus can also refer to a prolonged contraction of a muscle resulting from rapidly repeated motor impulses (according to Merriam-Webster) which is a normal, healthy occurence. If you check in the Wikipedia stub titled "Tetanized State" you'll see that when it refers to tetanus it's referring to the normal, non-disease tetanus but it's linked to this article on the disease. I'm just not sure how to correct this article to clarify the alternate definition. Maybe create a completely separate article on the other tetanus? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Neonatal Tetanus and immunization[edit]

Sign and Symptoms: "Neonatal tetanus is a form of generalized tetanus that occurs in newborn infants. It occurs in infants who have not acquired passive immunity because the mother has never been immunized."

That second sentence might not be true (see What is the source for the implication that immunization before pregnancy passes immunity to a later child? Merke Manual 7th Ed. page 1177 states immunizing of a pregnant woman produces immunity in her fetus, but nothing more. Should it read "...because the mother has never been immunized when she was pregnant"? Stuart Anthony (talk) 16:41, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Article photo of tetanus patient should include a censorship disclaimer[edit]

The most likely reason for the photograph being censored is to protect patient confidentiality, however it could also be surmised that there is something unusual and disturbing about the eyes of the patient.

This impression is reinforced by the fact that the censorship block does not extend across the width of the face, but is in two separate blocks, one for each eye (this is a highly unusual technique for masking identity, and more commonly used for censoring something which may be considered "offensive", although of course Wikipedia articles are not usually censored for such reasons).

I think it would be a good idea to include a mention in the caption of the photograph stating the reason for the censorship (eg. to protect the identity of the individual), so that there is no confusion.

Nevart (talk) 14:19, 1 July 2008 (UTC) N


The cause of tetanus should be added to the lead.

I would but I don't know it... —Preceding unsigned comment added by KitsuneDragonRA (talkcontribs) 23:41, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I quote from the Causes section "Hence, stepping on a nail (rusty or not) may result in a tetanus infection, as the low-oxygen (anaerobic) environment is caused by the oxidization of the same object that causes a puncture wound, delivering endospores to a suitable environment for growth." Particularly the phrase "the low-oxygen (anaerobic) environment is caused by the oxidization of the same object that causes a puncture wound." Since the nail is what causes the puncture wound, this therefore says that the nail causes a low-oxygen environment. This brings up the question: how does the presence of an occasional nail, in soil, cause a low-oxygen environment? By using up oxygen in the processing of oxidizing the iron (converting the iron to rust)? It would seem unlikely that the oxidation of an occasional nail, in a large area of soil, would effect the soil that surrounds it, or the soil that clings to it, so much, that formerly aerobic soil becomes anaerobic. Can someone explain this further? Nomenclator (talk) 15:54, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Why don't they have a causes section?[edit]

.....Punkymonkey987 (talk) 23:36, 27 December 2008 aint noby got time fo dat

Tetanus' other definition[edit]

This page misses the other definiton of tetanus.

[1]tet·a·nus (tět'n-əs) n.

  1. An acute, often fatal disease characterized by spasmodic contraction of voluntary muscles, especially those of the neck and jaw,
and caused by the toxin of the bacillus Clostridium tetani, which typically infects the body through a deep wound. Also called
lockjaw. 2. Physiology A state of continuous muscular contraction, especially when induced artificially by rapidly repeated stimuli.

source: tetanus. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved February 11, 2009, from website: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:03, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

History of Tetanus[edit]

Someone should post where tetanus gets its name and anything from the past linked to it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

I think that there should be picture of what actually happens to the muscles when there is a spasm. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yoyodo (talkcontribs) 16:55, 2 February 2010 (UTC)


"An endospore is a non-metabolising survival structure that begins to metabolise and cause infection once in an adequate environment."

a non-metabolising survival structure that begins to metabolise

Um... what? Could this be reworded? I have no idea what this is trying to convey. (talk) 06:09, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Metabolism means all the chemical reactions in an organism, such as digestion. A spore is a stage in the life of an organism where it is in something like a "frozen" state. Only when it comes into the right environment do the chemical reactions start again. It's a "survival structure" because this stage helps the organism survive an environment where it doesn't get what it needs to live. If you define life by having metabolism, a spore isn't alive, but it can become alive again, like a seed.

Mechanism of Action of the Toxin[edit]

The tetanus toxin initially binds to peripheral nerve terminals. It is transported within the axon and across synaptic junctions until it reaches the central nervous system. There it becomes rapidly fixed to gangliosides at the presynaptic inhibitory motor nerve endings, and is taken up into the axon by endocytosis. The effect of the toxin is to block the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters (glycine and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) across the synaptic cleft, which is required to check the nervous impulse. If nervous impulses cannot be checked by normal inhibitory mechanisms, it produces the generalized muscular spasms characteristic of tetanus. The toxin appears to act by selective cleavage of a protein component of synaptic vesicles, synaptobrevin II, and this prevents the release of neurotransmitters by the cells.</ref Lectures in Microbiology by Kenneth Todar PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Bacteriology /ref> — Preceding unsigned comment added by Helena Bryan (talkcontribs) 22:17, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^