Also known as: lockjaw.

What is tetanus?

Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that can occur when a deep cut comes in contact with a contaminated surface. It can result in a serious complications called lockjaw among other symptoms.


What causes tetanus?

The bacteria Clostridium causes tetanus. It lives in the dirt, dust, manure or in saliva. When the bacteria enters the body through a wound it can lead to tetanus. Stepping on a nail or getting a cut when working outdoors are common methods of contracting tetanus.


What are the symptoms of tetanus?

Muscle spasms, stiffness, trouble swallowing, and a jaw that cannot be moved are all possible symptoms of tetanus.


What are tetanus care options?

Regular tetanus vaccines can prevent the illness. If it does occur, cleaning the wound, taking the vaccine, antibiotics, antitoxins and other medications are all possible treatments

Reviewed by: P. Marcelo Laufer, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:14:13 PM

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