Bianca Karpinecz

What is Tetanus?

Tetanus is a serious bacterial disease that affects your nervous system, leading to painful muscle contractions, particularly of your jaw and neck muscles. It can interfere with your ability to breathe and, ultimately, threaten your life.


The bacteria that cause tetanus, Clostridium tetani, are found in soil, dust and animal feces. When they enter a deep flesh wound, spores of the bacteria may produce a powerful toxin, tetanospasmin, which actively impairs your motor neurons, nerves that control your muscles

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Symptoms of Tetanus include:

  • Spasms and stiffness in your jaw muscles
  • Stiffness of your neck muscles
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Stiffness of your abdominal muscles
  • Painful body spasms lasting for several minutes, typically triggered by minor occurrences, such as a draft, loud noise, physical touch or light


Tetanus can be prevented with a shot. However, if you do happen to get this infection, there is, unfortunately, no know cure. Treatment involves wound care and medications to ease symptoms. Keeping the wound clean is essential to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

Medications for Tetanus include:

  • Antitoxins
  • Antibiotics
  • Vaccines
  • Sedatives

Relation to the Muscular System

When the toxin tetanospasmin gets into your bloodstream, it blocks blocks nerve signals from your spinal cord to your muscles. The lack of receiving signals causes severe muscle spasms, which can eventually lead to torn muscles or spinal fractures.

People Suffering from Tetanus