Author: Menon Narayanankutty Sunilkumar, Vadakut Krishnan Parvathy
Tetanus is still a major cause of mortality and morbidity in developing countries. It occurs in children mainly in the unimmunized, due to parental ignorance and objection to vaccination. This potentially fatal disease caused by a neurotoxin, tetanospasmin released from wounds infected with Clostridium tetani, an anaerobic gram–positive bacillus. As tetanus becomes less common, cases are likely to be misdiagnosed or go unrecognized. In this case report, we present a case of tetanus in a partially immunized 2 year old girl who presented with trismus. She was treated with the recent recommendations and adequate supportive care. Detection of tetanus at a very early stage can favor lifesaving interventions. Trismus, infected wound and partially immunized/unimmunized status of a child were the key features leading to the prompt diagnosis and early treatment.
Keywords: Tetanus, trismus, tetanospasmin, tetanus toxoid