Tetanus: A Once Common Disease for Farmers and Gardeners

Painting depicting the effects of tetanus

Tetanus: A Once Common Disease for Farmers and Gardeners

Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is now prevented by vaccine, but in the early 20th century it was still a surge that affected farmers and gardeners.  Popular belief is that rust causes tetanus.  It doesn’t, but the bacteria that causes the disease is found in soil, manure, dust and saliva.  (This post is a companion piece to Melina Druga’s WWI Trilogy, Angel of Mercy, Those Left Behind and Adjustment Year, available wherever eBooks are sold.)

The bacteria enters the body through a cut or a burn.  The incubation period can last anywhere from three to 21 days.

Starting in the 1890s, the disease was treated with an antitoxin. The vaccine wasn’t developed until the 1920s.

Symptoms of Tetanus

  • Muscles spasms or stiffness that begins in the jaw
  • Fever
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Sweating
  • Tightening of the vocal cords
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle spasms that can last for several minutes and involve the entire body, some severe enough to break bones
  • Headache
  • Trouble swallowing

About 10 percent of cases are fatal.

The WWI Trilogy by Melina Druga
The WWI Trilogy by Melina Druga: Angel of Mercy, Those Left Behind and Adjustment Year

Join the mailing list to receive updates on new blog posts, book launches, video releases and more.

Instagram
Twitter
Amazon
Youtube
Goodreads
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Updated: 28 October 2020
Melina Druga
Latest posts by Melina Druga (see all)
Melina Druga is a multi-genre author with a lifelong love of history, books and the English language. She pens historical fiction, chick lit and nonfiction.
Back To Top