Vigilancia epidemiologica do tetano no Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil
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This papers considers 2 346 cases of tetanus that occurred in Rio Grande do Sul between 1975 and 1984, which equaled an average incidence of 2.9 cases/100 000 inhabitants and produced 1.3 deaths/100 000 inhabitants. The case distribution shows a higher incidence among males and agricultural workers; 61 per cent of the patients contracted the disease in the course of their work (p0.01). The relative risk to agricultural workers from tetanus was 2.59. No significant difference in the evolution of the disease was found between this group and members of other occupations. Puncture wounds on the feet were the commonly implicated trauma. The predominant clinical picture consisted of trismus, convulsions, and muscle spasms. The most serious cases were those presenting convulsions and those in which the disease's incubation period was less than five days (p0.01). The largest number of cases occurred in the 18th microregion Colonial do Irai, where there are large tracts of land and many rural men employed as laborers; in that area there are also Indian reservations; where as many as 36.9 per cent of the children are born in the home. The incidence of neonatal tetanus was 25.8 cases/100 000 children under one year of age, and the disease occurred predominantly among infants born in the home (relative risk =67.1)
Epidemiological surveillance of tetanus in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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