When and Why Are Tetanus Shots Needed?
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
- trouble swallowing
Tetanus is a Preventable Disease
Fortunately, tetanus is a preventable disease today, thanks to the tetanus vaccine. There are several tetanus vaccine combinations available, which may also include protection against diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough.)
The Center for Disease Control recommends that infants and children receive their initial vaccinations at the pediatrician. Adults should receive a tetanus booster shot every 10 years. If suffering a deep puncture wound, a booster shot is recommended, even if you’ve had one within the 10-year span.
The Urgent Care Network Omaha is an independent, locally-owned group of three urgent care clinics in the Omaha metropolitan area. Our three clinics are Bellevue Urgent Care (since 2009), Rockbrook Urgent Care (since 2011) and the newest location, Crossroads Urgent Care (opened in August, 2016).
The focus of Urgent Care Network Omaha clinics is to take care of the issues that aren’t extreme, but do need medical help. We treat minor illnesses like the flu, infections, fevers, nausea, etc. Also minor injuries such as sprains, possible broken bones, lacerations, sports injuries, etc. We also provide occupational health services like work comp care, pre-employment physicals, drug screens, etc. More details are available on our services page.
We provide medical care that fits your schedule, whether you have a regular doctor or not. We encourage everyone to have a primary care physician for your ongoing medical needs. But, we know that they are not usually available on evenings and weekends, or sometimes their schedule is full. That’s when we can provide prompt attention to your medical issues. And, we will forward your medical record to your primary doctor, if you request.