Tetanus, commonly referred as ‘lockjaw’ is a serious yet rare condition that is caused by bacteria which enters a wound. Tetanus is a serious infection which can even be fatal. The symptoms of tetanus usually develop within 4 to 21 days after the onset of the infection. A few of them include:
- A high temperature or fever
- Muscle stiffness that begins in the jaw, later affecting the neck, arms, legs or abdomen
- Restlessness and irritability
- Trouble swallowing
- High blood pressure
- Muscle spasms in the face
- A higher heartbeat rate
If left untreated, the symptoms can continue to get worse over time and can cause life-threatening problems such as suffocation or even a cardiac arrest.
To get the ideal treatment for this condition, tetanus vaccines are given that helps prevent the disease.
What is a Tetanus Vaccine and How Does It Help?
A tetanus vaccine is one that can prevent tetanus. A full course of vaccination requires about five injections that are usually given as per the following schedule:
- DTaP: diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine for children younger than age 7.
- Tdap: tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine for older and adults.
- Td: tetanus and diphtheria vaccine for older children and adults.
Who Should Get the Tetanus Vaccine and When?
Doctors usually recommend the tetanus vaccination for:
- Those who have not received a primary immunisation series during childhood.
- Those who have not received the Td or Tdap booster dose in the last ten years.
- Adults who have recovered from the tetanus disease.
- Adults who have not yet received the Tdap.
- All health care workers and persons who are in regular contact with infants younger than one year of age.
- Besides, the tetanus vaccine also protects you from painful muscle spasms that are caused by tetanus and keeps you from falling sick often.