Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection, which is characterized by the affection of the nerves supplying the muscles resulting in spasms and stiffness. Clostridium tetani are the causative bacteria of tetanus infections whose spores enter the body through deep, open punctured cuts or wound by contaminated pointed tools and instruments. It causes contractions of muscles of the jaw this condition is also termed as lock Jaw. Tetanus shots are recommended as preventive medicine against tetanus. Tetanus booster shots are recommended to be repeated in every decade of life.
How Long Is Tetanus Shot Good For?
Tetanus is a serious disease marked by the involuntary contractions of the muscles of the body due to the failure of nerve supply. It is caused by a bacterium commonly known as Clostridium tetani. The spores of the bacteria grow and multiply in open lacerated wounds injured by contaminated pointed tools, needles, knives, and other instruments. The bacteria are anaerobic in nature i.e., it cannot live in places rich in oxygen.
Tetanus is a serious infectious disease of muscles of the body. It can be prevented by tetanus shots. Tetanus shots action remains for ten years and the gap between booster shots is increasing nowadays. So, in the present scenario, 10 years gap is good for the tetanus shots.
This infection begins with fever, headache and loose motions. The bacteria affect the nervous system slowly and block the supply of the nerves to the muscles. It results in stiffness and spasms of the muscles starting from jaw to neck, chest, back, and abdomen.
The incubation period of tetani bacteria in the human body is 3-21 days. Its symptoms may appear in this period. It begins with symptoms like fever, headache, and diarrhea. Muscular symptoms start from the jaw. It can cause locking of the jaw and cut of the tongue. Then it may spread to other muscles of the body from neck to chest and back. In severe cases, arching of the spine may occur. Heartbeat becomes abnormal and the patient may go to the comatose state. Cardiac arrest may occur due to spasms of cardiac muses and respiratory muscles leading to sudden death.
Treatment measures of tetanus are available in the medical world. But they are not curative. There is no cure for the tetanus infection. As the infection has serious consequences on the body, it is better to prevent them from occurring.
Tetanus shots are available for this purpose. It comprises of dormant or dead tetanus bacteria in small quantities. They are injected in the muscular regions like thigh or arm. They strengthen the immune system of the body by the generation of antibodies against the bacteria. Tetanus toxoid is the most common tetanus vaccine.
Tetanus shots were given in every year in the past. The gap between the booster shots is increasing over years. It may increase further. The span of time between the booster shots now recommended is ten years. Many adults have stopped taking the shot due to its minimal side effects.
The side effects can be the pain, allergic reaction, numbness at the injection spot. Tetanus shots can cause pain when injected into the body. It hurts every time as the Clostridium tetani are acidic in nature. It is painful also due to its concentration in every shot. It leaves you with residual pain that may remain for a few days and few weeks. Some people may experience numbness in the injected arm after a few minutes of injection. This is often accompanied by radiating pain from the injected site to arms, neck, and back. Some people feel general fatigue and weakness in the muscle due to the tetanus shots. Doctors may prescribe OTC painkillers like ibuprofen or Motrin to reduce pain for a couple of days. Some people complain of allergic reactions i.e. hives and rashes on the body with excessive weakness after tetanus booster shots.
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