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What are the symptoms of tetanus?

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Symptoms of tetanus include:

In some cases, symptoms will develop in the absence of any cut or wound that you can recall. In addition, you may notice restlessness, lack of appetite, and drooling.

  • Stiffness of the neck, jaw, and other muscles, often accompanied by a sneering, grinning expression
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Uncontrollable spasms of the jaw (called lockjaw) and neck muscles
  • Painful, involuntary contraction of other muscles

From: Understanding Tetanus -- Symptoms WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: CDC: "Tetanus (Lockjaw) Vaccination." National Network For Immunization Information: "Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP)."  MedlinePlus: "Tetanus." National Association for Infectious Diseases: "Tetanus (Lockjaw)."



Reviewed by William Blahd on March 18, 2017

SOURCES: CDC: "Tetanus (Lockjaw) Vaccination." National Network For Immunization Information: "Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP)."  MedlinePlus: "Tetanus." National Association for Infectious Diseases: "Tetanus (Lockjaw)."



Reviewed by William Blahd on March 18, 2017

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When should you call your doctor about tetanus?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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