The Grinning Death
The Grinning Death – is a deadly disease characterized by painful contractions of body muscles; prolonged cramps of the patient's mimic muscles were recognized as an "ironic smile." The convulsive seizure specific posture, opisthotonus, is depicted on a painting of surgeon, Sir Charles Bell (1809).
The disease is caused by a bacterium, Clostridium tetani. It enters the body through the wound contaminated with a soil. Due to the name of the bacterium, the disease was called tetanus. It was associated with wars and natural disasters, although today tetanus can be prevented by vaccination.
Last Update 2022-09-22 © 2021, Tbilisi Medical Academy