Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in the soil, animal excrement, and other places. When these bacteria enter a skin puncture, they can create a deadly toxin called tetanospasmin. This causes the condition known as tetanus, which affects the body's nerves. Symptoms include nerve spasms and contractions that spread from the face to the arms and legs, debilitating the body and affecting the ability to breathe. Untreated tetanus is often fatal. If you develop tetanus, get to a hospital as soon as possible. The tetanus vaccine for children and adults is the primary means of preventing tetanus. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about howtetanus is contracted, what it looks like, how to treat it, and much more.