Tetanus (also called "lockjaw") is a serious, sometimes fatal, illness of the nervous system. It is caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium tetani (C. tetani), which is found in soil, dust and manure.

Tetanus infection is often associated with deep puncture wounds and cuts, such as those caused by nails or knives.

Burns, scratches and even small pinpricks can serve as entryways for infection. It is not spread from person to person.

After exposure, it usually takes about seven days to become ill, but symptoms may begin in as early as three days or as late as three weeks.



Safe and effective vaccines exist to prevent tetanus. A booster dose is required every 10 years.

Treating minor wounds

For severe injuries