Tetanus is an infectious disease. A vaccine to prevent tetanus is available.
Signs and symptoms of tetanus are due to nervous system dysfunction and include progressive muscle spasms that cause stiffness and spasm of muscles throughout the body, including the breathing muscles. Tetanus is often fatal. Other associated symptoms can include headache, irritability, and restlessness. The stiffness of the jaw caused by tetanus has been referred to as lockjaw.
Cause of tetanus
Infection with the bacteria known as Clostridium tetani causes tetanus. The illness affects the nervous system and is caused by a production of a toxin by the tetanus bacteria. People most commonly acquire tetanus through contaminated wounds, and any skin break can lead to infection with the tetanus bacteria.
Other tetanus symptoms and signs
- Muscle Spasms
- Muscle Stiffness
Main Article on Tetanus Symptoms and Signs
Infectious Disease Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter