Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kenmore, Washington
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The main ingredient to cause the spore to germinate is WATER. It only needs water. The other conditions are needed to allow it to multiply, but water will take it from shriveled dry round eternal spore to reconstuted plump rod shaped bacteria, ready to go.
Think of the 'typical' tetanus injury: stepping on a rusty nail.
I've certainly done that before, so I can tell you what the wound looks like.
Even with a 1" penetration into the sole, there is no bleeding. There is visible rust and dirt in the wound, but it cannot be removed because you cannot make it bleed. The heavy callous and skin on the bottom of the foot, plus the pressure of walking seal the wound.
Mentioned above, a nasty burn could have similar situations.
These are the conditions of tetanus: the wound is dirty, and it is anerobic because there is little blood supply. Tetanus is dangerous not because of the infection, but because it releases a neurotoxin. A small amount of infection (causing only a small red spot) can produce enough toxin to kill. That strain of killer e. coli does the same thing, only aerobically and in the gut.
Botulism and Tetanus are in the same family, anerobic toxin producers, ubiquitous in our environment, that only need the proper environment to grow.
Also in that nasty family tree: gas gangrene and some uterine infections.
I give tetanus the same regard as botulism. I take a few precautions and don't worry about it.
I send my money to help aid agencies buy razor blades and umbilical clamps. Neonatal tetanus is still a large problem in the world. Dabbing the stump with dung is a common practice in many areas.
Did you know that many of us will have tetanus in our gut at some time? Rates have been recorded at as much as 25% of the population at a time. You have it and then you don't...it doesn't stick around. But that's how it gets in the soil, from the feces of animals.
After 4 m/c, our is here!