tetanus

Judith Hanna jehanna at gn.apc.org
Fri Mar 9 09:37:58 EST 2001


Sorry, Roger, there is misinformation in your message. Tetanus is more
likely from the sort of minor cut people ignore than from a deep wound --
bleeding clears out infection. Or did you mean specifically a deep puncture
with little bleeding - which is indeed a danger?

According to my 'Family Medical Encyclopedia': spores of the bacillus
Clostridium tetani are commonly found in earth, especially when it is
contaminated with manure from horses or cattle. These spores may survive in
the earth for many years and may enter the body when a wound is
contaminated with soil. The bacteria cannot multiply in the body in the
presence of oxygen, so grow only in dirty wounds or in dead bloodless
tissues around a deep wound. Entirely preventable by immunisation. Children
given immunisation develop lasting immunity against the toxin. This
immunity should be boosted with another shot of toxoid as part of the
treatment of any dirty or ragged wound. 

Doesn't deal at all with whether the heat of composting inactivates the
spores -- so safest to assume that, like many bacterial spores, they are
likely to survive. 
Judith Hanna
jehanna at gn.apc.org
15 Jansons Rd, Tottenham, London N15 4JU





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