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Health Tip: Do You Need a Tetanus Shot?

(HealthDay News) -- Tetanus shots are recommended starting in infancy and continuing every ten years after age 5, the American College of Emergency Physicians says.

But most adults don't get boosters until they step on a rusty nail or suffer a deep and dirty wound, the group acknowledges.

Tetanus is a bacterial nervous-system infection, sometimes called lockjaw, that can lead to death.

But it doesn't always require a dirty wound. Tetanus bacteria can get into the bloodstream through a tiny pinprick, a scratch from an animal, a splinter or even an open bug bite, the college warns.

If you have symptoms that may include difficulty swallowing, abdominal muscle rigidity, spasms, sweating and fever, seek medical attention immediately.

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