Tetanus, which is also referred as lockjaw is a harmful disease which may attack adults and children, male and female. However, this is a non-contagious disease which cannot be transferred from one person to another. Instead, tetanus is resulted from a cut or a wound. The risk is greater when your wound is caused by a dirty object, such as stained nail or fence. It is not the wound itself which causes tetanus. Instead, the bacteria living in the dirty objects do. This bacteria enter your body through an opened scrape, cut, or puncture. A deeper wound which is usually caused by sharp objects such as knives and nails is more likely to cause this disease. After entering the body through the wound, tetanus bacteria travels through your blood flow and come into the nerve system. Here, this bacteria infects the nervous system, causing some muscle spasms, which may lead into death.
What should be done to a wound to prevent tetanus?
As tetanus can be deadly, preventing ourselves from this disease is really important. Therefore, a proper wound treatment is required. This becomes more important if your wound is exposed or has a contact with dirt, such as soil and feces. Treating the wound properly and quickly is beneficial to avoid tetanus infection. A tetanus shot or booster might also be helpful in fighting the possible tetanus bacteria from infecting the wound.
Does tetanus shot prevent tetanus?
In fact, a tetanus shot is one effective way on preventing the disease from infecting our body. The bacteria causing tetanus can be easily found in dirty environment and can enter our body easily through an opened wound. A tetanus shot promotes an antibody to fight this bacteria and keep us away from severe infection. A clean wound—a wound caused by a clean object is in fact, not one hundred percent tetanus-free, although the risk is lower than the dirty wound. A tetanus shot is commonly given to children as part of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus shot (DPT). This vaccine should be repeated every five years until the age of 12, and every ten years thereafter. A deep or dirty wound may need a tetanus booster to eliminate the infecting bacteria. Your wound usually tells you how much you need the tetanus booster to keep away the risk of being infected with this lockjaw. Consider a tetanus shot if:
- Your wound is clean but you have not got your tetanus shot for the last 10 years.
- Your wound is dirty and you have not received a tetanus shot for the last 5 years.
- Your wound is either clean dirty, but deep and you received your last tetanus shot more than 5 years ago.
- You haven’t got any tetanus shot or you are not sure about it
Severe tetanus infection may cause severe headache which is combined with muscles stiffness, especially in the jaw. Furthermore, you might have a swallowing difficulty and high fever. This might also be followed by muscles spasms in the face which makes your expression strange.