Tetanus is a very serious, potentially fatal disease that typically occurs in people who have not been vaccinated. Caused by Clostridium tetani, it generally enters the body through a deep wound in the skin, such as a puncture caused by stepping on a nail. While rare in the United States and other developed countries, tetanus kills approximately 300,000 people a year worldwide. ""Tetanus"" describes the characteristics of the disease, which includes powerful muscle contractions and a form of paralysis called lockjaw, and details its prevention and treatment. The historical background of the disease and the future trends of treatment and prevention are also covered. A better understanding of tetanus can help everyone take steps to make this disease even less common.Chapters include: What Is Tetanus? Tetanus in History, How Is Tetanus Treated? How Is Tetanus Prevented? And, Future Prospects Regarding Tetanus.
Patrick Guilfoile earned his Ph.D. in bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He subsequently did postdoctoral research at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is now a professor of biology at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota, where he teaches microbiology and medical microbiology. He most recent research has focused on the molecular genetics of ticks and other parasites. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 papers in scientific and biology education journals. He has also written a molecular biology laboratory manual, a book on controlling ticks that transmit Lyme disease, and a book about antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the Deadly Diseases and Epidemics series.