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Open all pages about Tetanus

Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in soil and manure getting into a wound, like a bite, burn or scratch. The risk is higher with large, deep wounds.

Symptoms of tetanus include a stiff jaw (lockjaw), painful muscle spasms, difficulty breathing and swallowing problems.

Tetanus is an emergency that needs to be treated in hospital. Treatments include cleaning the wound and medicines to treat the infection.

In the UK, babies and children are routinely vaccinated against tetanus. Make sure you’re up to date with your routine vaccinations before travelling.

Tetanus is a serious condition caused by bacteria getting into a wound. It’s rare in the UK because most people have had the routine tetanus vaccine.

Page last reviewed: 18/05/2023
Next review due: 18/05/2026