Tetanus Law and Legal Definition

Tetanus is a disease caused by the toxin of the bacterium Clostridium tetani that affects the central nervous system, sometimes resulting in death. It is also called lockjaw. It is commonly believed that tetanus occurs from wound caused by rusty metal instruments, however, it is the dirt, rather than the rust, which causes the disease. Tetanus is completely preventable by current tetanus immunization. Immunization is considered to provide protection for 10 years.

In the U.S., immunizations are begun in infancy with the DTaP series of shots. The DTaP vaccine is a "3-in-1" vaccine that protects against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. It is a safer version of an older vaccine known as DTP, which is no longer used in the U.S.