Tetanus quiz

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Sanshiro Kato

Medically Reviewed By:

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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Learn more about Tetanus

Content updated on Jun 1, 2022

What is tetanus?

A life-threatening infection caused by a bacteria called Clostridium tetani. The bacteria releases toxins that affects the nervous system and cause muscles in the body to contract and "lock up". The bacteria are everywhere in the environment and enter the body through open wounds. Risk factors include being immunosuppressed, not being vaccinated against tetanus (or not keeping up with booster shots), as well as having open wounds or cuts.

Symptoms related to tetanus

  • Fever

  • Hands and legs became clumsy - I cannot do fine work with them

  • Difficulty pronouncing words

  • Difficulty in mouth opening

  • Weakness in arms or legs

  • Muscle pain

  • Difficulty swallowing food or water

  • Feeling breathless

Questions your doctor may ask to check for tetanus

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose tetanus

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you feel that it is harder to move your limbs or that you are more clumsy recently?

  • Do you have difficulty pronouncing words properly?

  • Do you have difficulty opening your mouth?

  • Do you feel any weakness in your arms or legs?

Treatment for tetanus

Emergency medical treatment in a hospital is required. There is no cure - treatment is supportive. It involves wound care, removing dead tissue, administering antibiotics, antitoxins and antibodies by injection to help them to fight the infection. Vaccination is available to prevent tetanus infection.

View the symptoms of Tetanus


Sanshiro Kato

Medically Reviewed By:

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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