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What are the symptoms of tetanus?

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Symptoms often begin around a week after infection. But this may range from three days to three weeks or even longer. The most common symptom is a stiff jaw, which can become locked. This is how the disease came to be called lockjaw. If not you don't treat tetanus, it can cause death from suffocation.

  • Headache
  • Muscle stiffness, starting in the jaw, then the neck and the arms, legs, or abdomen
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Sweating and fever
  • Palpitations and high blood pressure
  • Muscle spasms in the face, causing a strange-looking steady smile or grin

SOURCES:

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: "Facts About Tetanus for Adults" and "Tetanus."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Tetanus Vaccine."

CDC: "Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccination Coverage among Adults Aged 18 Years and Older - United States, 1999 and 2008," "Preventing Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Among Adults: Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine," and "Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 09, 2018

SOURCES:

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: "Facts About Tetanus for Adults" and "Tetanus."

Immunization Action Coalition: "Tetanus Vaccine."

CDC: "Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccination Coverage among Adults Aged 18 Years and Older - United States, 1999 and 2008," "Preventing Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Among Adults: Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine," and "Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 09, 2018

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How does a tetatnus shot work?

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