Tetanus neonatorum has in past years been given a diversity of names, having been known as the "scourge of St. Kilda," "seven day sickness," "nine day fits," "trismus," "trismus nascentium" and other names of uncertain significance. For many years this disease was a "will-o-the-wisp" for the medical profession, puzzling many of the great scientists. Even to the present day, the pathology and treatment remain in the realms of the uncertain.
It is a common belief that the disease is a great rarity. Johnston, in 1928, began his case report by saying, "Tetanus Neonatorum must be an extremely rare disease today." Statistical investigation, however, shows that tetanus neonatorum yet flourishes in some parts of the world, including the United States.
The statistical data in this study were obtained from individual correspondence with each State Bureau of Vital Statistics and through the U. S. Bureau of Census. The assimilation of these data
HINES EA. TETANUS NEONATORUM: REPORT OF A CASE WITH RECOVERY. Am J Dis Child. 1930;39(3):560–572. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1930.01930150092011
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