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Medical Dictionary

tetanus

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noun tet·a·nus \ˈtet-ən-əs, ˈtet-nəs\

Medical Definition of tetanus

  1. 1a:  an acute infectious disease characterized by tonic spasm of voluntary muscles and especially of the muscles of the jaw and caused by an exotoxin produced by a bacterium of the genus Clostridium (C. tetani) which is usually introduced through a wound—compare lockjawb:  tetanus bacillus

  2. 2:  prolonged contraction of a muscle resulting from a series of motor impulses following one another too rapidly to permit intervening relaxation of the muscle





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