In addition, certain factors are necessary for tetanus bacteria to proliferate in your body. These include:

  • Lack of immunization or inadequate immunization — failure to receive timely booster shots — against tetanus
  • A penetrating injury that results in tetanus spores being introduced to the wound site
  • The presence of other infective bacteria
  • Injured tissue
  • A foreign body, such as a nail or splinter
  • Swelling around the injury

Tetanus cases have developed from the following types of injuries:

  • Puncture wounds — including from splinters, body piercings, tattoos, injection drugs
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Compound fractures
  • Crush injuries
  • Burns
  • Surgical wounds
  • Injection drug use
  • Ear infections
  • Animal bites
  • Infected foot ulcers
  • Infected umbilical stumps in newborns born of inadequately immunized mothers
Apr. 24, 2013