Infectious Diseases: Tetanus (Also Called Lockjaw)



Estimated Reading Time < 1 Minutes

Symptoms

Poison from the tetanus germ can spread from the nerves to the muscles. Muscles may lock into place or go into spasm, which is very painful. A person may not be able to swallow or open the mouth. If the poison gets to the muscles that help with breathing, a person can die quickly.

Cause

Caused by bacteria in dirt and dust.

Treatment

Antibiotics that kill the tetanus germs.

Transmission/Prevention

Transmitted when a tetanus germ gets into an open cut on your body. Vaccine is available that is usually given in combination with the diphtheria toxoid and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine (DPT). Regular booster injections are necessary every 10 years after childhood in order to ensure protection throughout adulthood. Tetanus is rare in Canada because almost everyone has been vaccinated. Ask your doctor when your child should get the appropriate vaccine.

Related Articles

Made Possible With The Support Of Ontario Creates