Tetanus results from the action of a neurotoxin produced in infected tissues by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, resulting in severe, potentially life-threatening muscle spasms. In the United States, tetanus is predominately associated with infected injuries, including acute wounds contaminated with dirt, saliva, or feces, puncture wounds, crush injuries, and unsterile injections. In the United States, tetanus typically occurs in adults over 60 years of age, reflecting a lack of immunity in this population.
Resources for the general public
- Tetanus facts, CDC
Resources for health care professionals
- Tetanus is a reportable condition in King County: See disease reporting requirements.
- Tetanus (lockjaw) vaccination, CDC