When and Why Are Tetanus Shots Needed?

Tetanus Shots

Tetanus is a bacterial infection that causes muscle spasms, attacking the central nervous system, and can lead to death by suffocation, if not treated. Also known as “lockjaw”, this occurs when a person gets a cut or wound, and tetanus bacteria, which are common in soil, dust and manure, infect the area.

Tetanus symptoms usually show up about a week after initial infection. The most common symptom is a stiff jaw, which may become locked (hence: lockjaw.) Other conditions include:

  • muscle stiffness spreading to the neck, arms and legs
  • headaches
  • trouble swallowing
  • sweating
  • fever