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seven_swans

Tetanus from minor scrape?

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Hi all. Back again. Therapy is beginning in the next few weeks, but until then...

 

I was walking down the stairs last night to get a glass of water, and I was gliding my hand along the bannister. I felt a sharp pain in my ring finger on the hand on the bannister. I looked at it, and I didn't see any splinter or any skin abrasion at all, but it must have been a splinter. Since then, I've been having trouble sleeping or focusing at work - I can only think of tetanus.

It doesn't help that I can't precisely remember when my last booster shot was. It may have been 7 or so years ago; it's kind of a fuzzy memory, but I think I remember asking for it after my health anxiety had started, so it must be 7 or so years. I know the conservative estimate is 10 years, and some people even say 15 or 20 years (or even 30 years!) would work just as well. However. My brain won't let me accept that.

I am not even sure this qualifies as a worrisome injury. If I went into a doctor's office, I'm sure I'd get laughed at (internally) for being concerned. And yet. The CDC and other sites mention that minor skin abrasions and insect bites have been the culprits of tetanus as well.

 

I feel lost. I am worrying, all the time, about something that may not even be a concern (due to probable vaccination, not even sure if this counts as a wound).

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Tetanus is found mainly in soil containing infected feces.  You probably pinched your skin while sliding your hand.  

Quote

The bacteria live in soil, saliva, dust, and manure. The bacteria can enter the body through a deep cut, like those you might get from stepping on a nail, or through a burn. 

 

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Tetanus shot boosters are good for 10 years. My physician told me that tetanus is usually from deep puncture wounds from objects such as nails and knives and very unlikely from just a scratch. You could also call your physician. 

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Deep puncture wound is key here. Tetanus cannot survive when exposed to oxygen.

Years ago I managed to get an impressively large piece of wood from our old floor boards lodged deep in my foot. You could see the piece but no bleeding occurred bc it was so deep. My doctor removed it and gave me a tetanus shot which was totally appropriate given the circumstances. A small splinter would not qualify. Not at all so please don't lose sleep!

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Like everyone else has mentioned before Tetnus usually happens by stepping on something like a nail. Usually a rusty one. I understand how it feels being nervous about Tetnus. I went through a scare myself just last year for even touching one and getting a tiny puncture wound. I was having a scare myself a few minutes ago because I walked outside in wet mud with slippers and socks on and I had a closed wound. And skin tags. And we live near a sewerage treatment plant lol. I wouldn't worry about it too much. You should be fine. Like users have said before me, Tetnus shots are good for 10 years. I got my last one when I was 12 or 13 so I should be good until I am 22 or 23 haha. 

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I’m still worrying about this. My jaw and neck muscles are twitching. I’m guessing stress can cause that, but I’m still obsessing about this. I think I got my tetanus booster in 2011, but I can’t find any hard evidence or documentation that I did. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m going to die in a horrible way. 

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I'd relax, tetanus has more to do with a bad puncture wound and like others said, a booster is good for a decade after the fact. I wouldn't be too concerned if it wasn't rusty and just a little pinprick. 

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Nah, tetanus is caused by some bacteria living in animal dung.  It doesn't come directly from rust or wood; it's just usually that broken, splintering, rusty, etc, things, are 1. more likely to be contaminated by having been discarded outside somewhere for long periods of time and 2. are more likely to give you a good puncture wound, which is how it gets in your body.

Keep up to date on tetanus boosters for sure, because if you step on a nail outside or something, you don't want to have to run to the doctor immediately in a panic, and tetanus is definitely something you don't want, but your risk from this is nearly nonexistent.

I once had an ingrown hair that turned into an abscess that I thought I could pop at home and save myself the trouble of seeing a doctor.  Used a nail file.  Realized after the fact that it was rusted (how in the heck I didn't notice that is beyond me).  No tetanus, and I literally stabbed myself with it!  (I would still strongly advise against doing that.  Bad idea.  But didn't turn deadly!)

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Thanks for all the replies. My neck muscles are kind of spasming now. I know this is a sign of tetanus. I’m guessing it’s also a sign of stress related to worrying about tetanus?

The internet tells me 50% of tetanus cases are from indoor wounds that people don’t go to the doctor about because they’re too minor. Like my “splinter” that I’m not even sure existed. 

 

Whar a trip..

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As an update, I'm still getting twitches in my neck and jaw. I started feeling hot, and like my eyes were dry. I'm trying to remain positive, but these symptoms are scary!

 

The odds of getting tetanus in any given year in the United States is ~0.000009% So. Yeah.

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Just by way of update, my jaw (mostly upper side) is sore, and I'm still either clenching subconsciously or having my jaw close on me. Some twitching and pain in my neck and jaw still. I'm not sure if tetanus would be progressing like this or if it'd be getting worse more quickly.

 

I feel like these are tetanus symptoms - namely, jaw muscle spasms and pain, is it not?

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Tetanus was already rare and declining at the average rate well before the shot was invented.  I believe in the shot, but statistically do not think it is the main contribution to the decline in cases. 

The most frequent way of getting it is coming in contact with something sharp under mud or animal feces (or dust from them)...and to think how many farmers in the US have done that (a lot without the shot) and yet, still the prevelance is around 1/10,000,000 per year. 

No, I dont think you have tetanus..and if you did you would have a high fever right now as well as trismus which is defined as the sudden,  complete inability to open your mouth 3 fingers width, and the inability to move your head up, down, or side to side.

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