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Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 1991 Nov-Dec;33(6):477-84.

[Epidemiology of tetanus in São Paulo State (Brazil)].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Medicina Preventiva da Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil.


Tetanus is a reportable disease in the State of São Paulo since 1978. The data from this source show a trend toward a decrease in the incidence of tetanus, although it is still higher than in the developed countries. There is a constantly high mortality rate. We have studied 133 cases of non-neonatal tetanus that had been reported to the Epidemiology Surveillance Center of the State of São Paulo in 1989. The data we analysed were obtained from the epidemiological report form routinely used during the investigation and confirmation of the cases. The incidence was 0.41 per 100.000 population and the mortality rate was 44.36%. It was possible to identify some groups under a higher risk like old-aged, those living in the western and north-western regions of the State and those classified occupationally as "domestic activities", "rural workers" and "pensioners". We propose that these groups deserve special attention, together with pregnant women and children. In 18.3% of the cases the incubation period could not be determined. The peak incidence occurred in May. We also compared the mortality rate in the group of patients in the Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP (the only hospital in the State of São Paulo with an Intensive Unit Care designed exclusively to the treatment of the patients with tetanus) and the group of patients that were admitted to other hospitals. The mortality rate in the HC-FMUSP was 34.5% and in the other hospitals was 49.5%, but this was not statistically significant. The role of the medical facilities in the prognosis of the patient with tetanus specially the importance of considering at the same time the severity of the disease and the characteristics of the therapy deserve further study in order to contribute to the development of the medical assistance to the patients with tetanus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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