What is a Lockjaw?
Lockjaw, or Tetanus, is a grave bacterial disease affecting the muscles and nerves in the jaw and neck to the point where it stiffens and then spreads to the lower body parts, eventually taking over the whole body. In some cases, it can prove fatal as well.
Bacteria called Clostridium Tetani cause Tetanus, which is found in the air or dust and can be transferred to human beings from burns, animal and insect bites, fractured piercings and tattoos, and persistent sores or infections.
Tetanus, or lockjaw, affects muscles or the nerves controlling them and causes stiffness or spasms, especially in the jaw, neck, chest or abdomen. So, one may start seeing the lockjaw symptoms when breathing problems start showing because of the spasm of vocal cords and muscles that control breathing, memory loss as a result of brain damage due to lack of oxygen, and similarly when one experiences inflammation of the soft tissue in the mouth, trouble swallowing, sweating, high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeat rate, bone and spine fractures due to muscle spasms and fever.
The time between detecting the bacteria and the lockjaw symptoms showing is around 21 days, which is why the condition has to be addressed quickly and effectively. The solution to fighting Lockjaw, or Tetanus, is a tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine and tetanus immune globulin (TIG) or antitoxin to attend to the wounds, and proper immunization is required to prevent the disease from striking again.
This means taking a booster vaccine every 10 years for adults and children are to be vaccinated every couple of months or so. What further adds to the severity of this disease is its epidemiology and so it’s important to address this potentially fatal disease as early as possible. Otherwise, it could spread to other parts of the body and cause considerable pain and discomfort.