3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Tetanus
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System


Alternate Names : Lockjaw

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Tetanus is an infection of the nervous system caused by the Clostridium tetani bacteria.

What is going on in the body?

The bacteria that cause tetanus live in the soil. They are also found in animal intestines and human feces. Tetanus occurs when wounds or an infant's umbilical cord are contaminated with the bacteria. The bacteria then multiply and produce a toxin, which affects the nervous system. The toxin travels through the nerves to the brain and spinal cord.

What are the causes and risks of the infection?

Tetanus is caused by a toxin made by the bacteria Clostridium tetani. The bacteria are generally introduced into the body through wounds in the skin. The risk of tetanus increases with deep puncture wounds infected by dirt or feces. The bacteria can also be introduced through the umbilical cord of a newborn.

Common sources of tetanus infection include the following:

  • animal bites
  • burns
  • chronic otitis media, or infections of the middle ear
  • crush injuries
  • dental procedures
  • elective surgical abortion
  • frostbite wounds
  • human bites
  • puncture wounds
  • surgery


    Next section


    Tetanus: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Danielle Zerr, MD
    Reviewer: William M. Boggs, MD
    Date Reviewed: 08/20/01

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site