Tetanus is a bacterial infection that attacks the central nervous system. IN the most severe cases, this can actually be fatal.
This makes tetanus highly dangerous of course, but what makes it even more threatening is the fact that it is able to enter the body through the smallest of pinpricks. We often associate tetanus with dog bites but in fact, it can be transmitted through a range of different things: it can come from rusty nails for instance, or it can come from actual pins or needles. Some people mistakenly believe that tetanus is caused by rust but the truth is that any rough surface can carry it: that’s because tetanus is transmitted via endospores and these can hide in the grooves of such material.
Fortunately, there are immunizations against this serious condition. Tetanus shots are required for children before they start school and will take the form of five shots delivered between the ages of 2-5. You’ll then need an additional booster once every ten years.
Haven’t had your shot lately? Don’t worry. If you’ve just stepped on a nail, then you can make a visit, get your shot and you should be fine. That is why it’s important to stay up to date but also to be able to recognize the symptoms so that you can act quickly when necessary.
Here are the symptoms tom look out for:
Stiffness is one of the early and most noticeable symptoms of tetanus. This will very often affect the neck and the jaw in particular, though it might affect other muscles too.
There are many things that can cause stiffness in the neck and jaw of course – very commonly this is a result of sleeping uncomfortably. However, if you notice the symptoms appear after being pricked, stabbed or cut, then this is a serious warning sign and you should seek medical attention as soon as possible to be on the safe side.