A tetanus injection is a vaccination that protects against tetanus. Tetanus, sometimes known as "lockjaw," is a dangerous illness caused by a bacteria called Clostridium tetani. When you have the prescribed tetanus vaccines, your body produces antibodies, which are unique proteins that assist your immune system fight the toxin generated by the bacteria.
Clostridium tetani is a kind of bacteria found in soil and manure. Tetanus infections are most usually caused by a wound that allows bacteria to enter your body. Stepping on a nail, for example, is a typical source of tetanus infections. When the bacteria enter your body, they emit a toxin that causes your muscles to tighten. This might cause your mouth to "lock" up and make swallowing difficult. If not treated immediately, muscle stiffness can spread and even lead to death.
Tetanus is now uncommon in the United States, thanks in large part to vaccinations and better wound care. People who work with sewage, soil, or animals are more at risk to get infected by Clostridium tetani bacteria if they are injured. Tetanus infections are more likely to be deadly in adults over the age of 65 and those with diabetes in the United States, but they are dangerous to everyone.
Good wound care and immediate medical treatment reduce the probability of tetanus infection, but tetanus vaccination is the best way to protect against the disease. Since tetanus is not transmitted from person to person, "herd immunity" cannot prevent tetanus infection. A past tetanus infection also does not provide protection against subsequent tetanus infections. As a result, in order to avoid tetanus, each person needs a series of tetanus vaccinations. Tetanus vaccinations are frequently used in combination with vaccines that protect against additional disorders like diphtheria and pertussis.
Tetanus vaccinations are recommended for both children and adults by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tetanus is extremely rare to occur once you have received all of your vaccinations. Babies and children should have a series of six tetanus injections during childhood and adolescence to be properly immunised. The CDC advises that individuals get a booster injection every ten years to keep completely immunised.
Tetanus boosters help ensure that you have enough antibodies to neutralize the toxins produced by Clostridium tetani if you become infected. If you have been wounded and it has been more than ten years since your last tetanus booster, your doctor may advise you to obtain one. Even if it has been less than 10 years since your last tetanus vaccination, your doctor may consider a booster injection if your wound is particularly dirty.
The majority of tetanus vaccination side effects are minor and temporary. The following are common side effects:
A rare but significant side effect is an allergic response, as is a fever of more than 105 degrees Fahrenheit in youngsters. You should also inform your doctor if you have ever experienced Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, the hazards of tetanus infection are far greater than the vaccine's very low risk.
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