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Tetanus (also known as lockjaw) is an infection spread by a bacterium. The bacterium lives in dirt, soil and dust, but can also be found in human and animal feces (poop).
If you have even a tiny cut in your skin, tetanus bacteria can get in. The infection affects the nerves that control your muscles. They become stiff and painful, and make swallowing and breathing difficult. Other symptoms include:
- seizures (violent jerking or shaking of the body),
- fever and sweating,
- high blood pressure, and
- fast heart rate.
Without proper hospital treatment, tetanus can be fatal.
Tetanus does not spread from person to person. The best way to prevent tetanus is through vaccination.
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