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Scand J Infect Dis. 1989;21(6):655-63.

Epidemiology of tetanus in Finland from 1969 to 1985.

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Department of Neurology, University Central Hospital of Helsinki, Finland.


During the period 1969-85, tetanus caused the hospitalization of 106 patients (63 men and 43 women) in Finland. 12 (11.3%) of them died, most of the causes of death being unexpected complications during the intensive care. The majority of the patients were more than 50 years old and had not been fully vaccinated against tetanus. There was a clear seasonal variation, most of the cases occurring during the months when there is no snow on the ground. Half of the primary lesions were minor injuries to hands and fingers. Only half of the primary lesions had needed medical treatment and usually the patients had received antibiotics and tetanus vaccination but not immunoglobulin. To diagnose tetanus is more difficult today than previously, because few doctors nowadays encounter tetanus cases and the diagnosis is based entirely on clinical criteria, and because abortive mild forms of tetanus may occur, especially in patients with partial immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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