tetanus
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GC: n

S: WHO – http://www.who.int/topics/tetanus/en/ (last access: 19 November 2013); NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tetanus/ (last access: 12 March 2021).

N: 1. tetanus (n.): infectious disease, late 14c., from Latin tetanus “tetanus,” from Greek tetanos “tetanus, muscular spasm,” literally “a stretching, tension,” from teinein “to stretch” (see tenet); “so called because the disease is characterized by violent spasms and stiffness of the muscles” (Barnhart). Related: Tetanoid (adj.).

2. Infectious disease of humans and other animals, caused by toxins produced by the bacillus Clostridium tetani and characterized by rigidity and spasms of the voluntary muscles.

3. The almost constant involvement of the jaw muscles accounts for the popular name of the disease, lockjaw.

4. Spores of Clostridium are distributed widely in nature, especially in soil, and may enter the body through any wound, even a superficial abrasion; puncture wounds and deep lacerations are particularly dangerous because they provide the oxygen-free environment needed for growth of the microorganism.

5. Tetanus can be prevented through immunization with tetanus-toxoid (TT)-containing vaccines. Neonatal tetanus can be prevented by immunizing women of childbearing age with tetanus toxoid, either during pregnancy or outside of pregnancy. Additionally, clean practices when a mother is delivering a child are also important to prevent neonatal and maternal tetanus. People who recover from tetanus do not have natural immunity and can be infected again and therefore need to be immunized. To be protected throughout life, an individual should receive 3 doses of DTP (diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccine) in infancy, followed by a TT-containing booster at school-entry age (4-7 years), in adolescence (12-15 years), and in early adulthood.

6. Animal Diseases and Veterinary Medicine: tetanus, lockjaw.
An infectious disease caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani, characterized by a tonic spasm of the masseter muscles of the jaw.

7. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention the movies Yaaba (1989) directed by Idrissa Ouedraogo, and The Children of Huang Shi (2008) by Roger Spottiswoode.

S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=tetanus&searchmode=none (last access: 5 September 2014); DORLAND, p. 1943. 2 to 4. EncBrit (last access: 19 November 2013). 5. WHO – http://www.wpro.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs_20120307_tetanus/en/ (last access: 19 November 2013). 6. TERMIUM PLUS – https://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tpv2alpha/alpha-eng.html?lang=eng&i=1&srchtxt=tetanus&index=alt&codom2nd_wet=1#resultrecs (last access: 7 April 2024). 7. CampUsal – https://revistas.usal.es/cinco/index.php/medicina_y_cine/article/view/13783/14200 (last access: 7 April 2024).

SYN: lockjaw (informal)

S: GDT – https://vitrinelinguistique.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/fiche-gdt/fiche/8383197/tetanos (last access: 7 April 2024); EncBrit – https://www.britannica.com/dictionary/tetanus (last access: 7 April 2024).

CR: antibody, diphtheria, triple vaccine.