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Tetanus is a serious illness caused by Clostridium bacteria. The bacteria live in soil, saliva, dust, and manure. The bacteria can enter the body through a deep cut, like those you might get from stepping on a nail, or through a burn.
The infection causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw. This makes it impossible to open your mouth or swallow. Tetanus is a medical emergency. You need to get treatment in a hospital.
A vaccine can prevent tetanus. It is given as a part of routine childhood vaccination. Adults should get a tetanus shot, or booster, every 10 years. If you get a bad cut or burn, see your doctor - you may need a booster. Immediate and proper wound care can prevent tetanus infection.
- Tetanus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Tetanus (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Tetanus: Questions and Answers (Immunization Action Coalition) - PDF
- Tetanus: Symptoms and Complications (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Diagnosis and Tests
- Tetanus: Diagnosis and Treatment (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Vaccines: MedlinePlus Health Topic (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Tetanus (Lockjaw) Photos (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Statistics and Research
- Tetanus Surveillance (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Tetanus (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Development of an algorithm for finding pertussis episodes in a population-based...
- Article: Acute exercise as a modifier of neocortical plasticity and aperiodic activity...
- Article: Socio-psychological determinants of second trimester maternal pertussis vaccination acceptance in the...
- Tetanus -- see more articles