tetanus neonatorum

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Syn: neonatal tetanus. Tetanus that occurs in newborns, typically 10 to 14 days after delivery. In some cultures in which the umbilical cord was crushed, as by being ground between two stones, or where the cut end was not cleansed and disinfected, neonatal tetanus was a frequent and tragic cause of neonatal mortality. Education, eradication of unhygienic customs, and tetanus toxoid prophylaxis for pregnant women to protect their infants have greatly reduced the risk, but it still causes as many as 200,000 deaths annually in low-income countries.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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