Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not so rusty

I knocked the heavy steel stage with full impact on head and blood was all over my face, i was rushed to the health center and the nurse in duty was desperate to give me an anti-tetanus injection. I usually hate taking any kind of medication and i was surprised why for this cut i need to take the injection? but she said it might be rusty, and that may cause tetanus!!! Well not the scare, but the hospital procedures overpowered me, i then wondered whats this correlation between tetanus and rust. From the childhood being an injury prone kid i took the injection whenever i had a cut from some rusty metal. Question struck me then and now too whats the reason is the iron oxide help some organism to grow?
Lets have some facts and figures. India among all other countries extremely prone to tetanus. The reason lies in the fact that the agricultural countries provides damp manure treated soils which is perfect place for these bacterias to reside. Hence they spread easily from there.
Clostridia Tetani is the bacteria which causes Tetanus, is an anaerobic bacteria and until and unless they get a oxygen free environment. Rust nails is not the cause for the disease, its the rough surface which provides perfect home for the C.Tetani bacteria spores. These microbes can reside in animal face or any agricultural tools such places. The nails are found dangerous because they cause deep wound, and once this spore gets inside the skin and finds its perfect breeding ground. Once they start their metabolism process, there is no stopping, they start producing toxins that attacks the central nervious system. This cause spasms and muscle rigidity, the prime attacked place is the face.
wiki has a good article on tetanus. The photo curtesey:

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