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Diseases > Tetanus
Tetanus - In short
(Lockjaw)

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Description
  A disease of the nervous system caused by bacteria

 

Symptoms
  Early symptoms: lockjaw, stiffness in the neck and abdomen, and difficulty swallowing

Later symptoms: severe muscle spasms, generalized tonic seizure-like activity, severe autonomic nervous system disorders

 

Complications
 

Death in about 10-20% of cases, higher among older people

 

Transmission
  Enters the body through a break in the skin

Vaccine
 

Tetanus toxoid (contained in Tdap, DTP, DT, DTaP, and Td vaccines) can prevent this disease.

Everyone needs protection from tetanus. If you have not had a booster shot in 10 years or more, you should receive a tetanus shot. If you never had the initial childhood tetanus vaccines, you should receive a series of three tetanus shots.

 

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This page last modified on January 12, 2007
Content on this page last reviewed on January 12, 2007

   

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