Tetanus

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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:

  • headache,
  • 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.

Causes

   Causes

    Causes of the disease, how it's spread, and where it's found.

   Symptoms

    Main symptoms, what to look for and what to do if you become ill.

Risks

   Risks

    What the risks are and who is most at risk.

Treatment

   Treatment

    How the disease is diagnosed and treatment options.

Prevention

   Prevention

   How the disease can be prevented, vaccine information and additional measures.

Surveillance

   Surveillance

    How the disease is monitored.

Health Professionals

   Health Professionals

   Disease description, epidemiology, publications and resources.

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