How is tetanus diagnosed? What is the treatment?

Diagnosing tetanus

There are no tests to confirm tetanus. Health professionals diagnose the disease by looking at the symptoms.

Treating tetanus

In the past, tetanus was nearly always fatal. There is still no cure for the infection itself, but treatment in hospital can control the symptoms. Vaccination helps your immune system to recognize the bacteria and fight off the disease.

Treatment usually involves:

  • wound care,
  • an antitoxin drug,
  • tetanus vaccine, and
  • sedatives to control muscle spasms.

If the infection is severe, patients may be hooked up to a breathing machine (ventilator) to help their lungs.

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