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Neonatal Tetanus


Neonatal tetanus most commonly affects infants born to nonimmune mothers. Exotoxin produced by Clostridium tetani gains entry to the circulation when the infant's umbilical cord is cut or the umbilical stump is cleaned in a nonsterile fashion. Generalized rigidity and spasm affect the child in the first 2 wk of life and may be fatal.

Image courtesy of the Public Health Image Library of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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