For centuries, rusty metals are known to cause tetanus infection. Although some medical researches observe that tetanus struck is rare, people have full concerns about the disease. The biggest cause of tetanus is a tetanus bacterial infected open wound. Nearly twenty percent of people wounded by rusty metals are infected by severe tetanus. There are several things causing this, yet some precautions can actually be done to prevent it, too. Understanding the facts about the relation between rusty metals wounds and tetanus can lessen your risk of getting the infection.
How do rusty metals transfer tetanus to my body?
Tetanus is an infection caused by bacterium called Clostridium tetani. This disease is commonly signed by muscle spasms. Some people call it lockjaw, because the spasm starts in your jam before spreading to the other areas. Tetanus causes severe muscle spasms which can ends in bone fractures. Other symptoms of tetanus are high fever, severe headache, high blood pressure, sore throat, and difficulty in swallowing. The incubation period is three days after bacterial infection.
The bacteria causing tetanus can be found in soil, dust, and manure. It can enter your body through an open wound caused by contaminated objects. Those contaminated objects are mostly rusty metals. Why rusty metals? Does rust cause tetanus? Rusty metals are commonly located outdoors or in humid places, where the bacteria Clostridium tetani are more likely to reside. Rust itself does not cause tetanus infection. Instead, it only provides the perfect habitat for the bacteria spores. Hence, rusty metals are usually contaminated with the bacteria.
When you are wounded and get a cut, scrap, opened stretch, or puncture through accidents with contaminated objects, in this case rusty metals, you have the risk of transferring the spores from the metal objects—their habitat to your body. This is the initial period of the incubation period.
What does the bacteria do inside my body?
After enter your body through the open wound you get from rusty nails, this bacteria go to your blood stream and reach the nervous system. In your central nervous system, it releases a toxin called tetanospasim which induce tetanus infection. Your nervous system which is attacked begins to show some symptoms of tetanus infection. It starts with stiffness on your jaws, which will spread to your whole muscles and bones. This is where the other name for tetanus, the lockjaw, taken from. Within days, this infection will cause severe pains that some people get their bones fractured. Tetanus infection hurts you badly that sometimes painkillers are needed to calm the pain. However, excessive consumption of painkillers might lead to kidney failure and later, death.
What precautions can I do to prevent tetanus?
Seeing how severe the damages a rusty nail can do, you might consider some precautions. Although tetanus is rare, it is not easy to be defeated. It also cause painful effects that put your life in danger. Hence, preventing its infection is very important. There are some things that you can consider regarding this:
- Do your best to avoid rusty metals inside or outside the house. Be extremely careful when working with rusty metals. Make sure you do not hurt yourself.
- Wash your hand thoroughly after work with rusty metals or after cleaning it up. Be sure you do not leave any rust powder on your hand as the bacteria might use it as its habitat.
- When working in the garden, especially when you have a wound, be sure to keep the wound covered well. You also need to wear gloves so that there will be no manure left beneath your fingernails, which can be dangerous for your wound.
- When cleaning up your pet’s litter, be sure to wear gloves, especially when you have wounds. Even though it is a small wound, bacteria can still enter your body through it. Be cautious.
- Get yourself a tetanus booster. You should have got it when you were young. However, should you haven’t got one, you need to get one injected. This vaccine is to be repeated every ten years. If you have a wound from rusty metals and haven’t got the booster within five years, you should immediately go to the clinic to get the booster to avoid tetanus infection.