education science

Tetanus/Lockjaw Infographic

I have read some alarming myths about tetanus among anti-vaccine writers. The most dangerous one is the idea that if the wound bleeds (or you pour hydrogen peroxide into it), the tetanus bacteria all die because they are anaerobic.

Not even close. Bacteria are very small, and Clostridium tetani needs only a very small space to live, breed, and distribute its endospores and nerve-damaging toxins. They are indeed anaerobic, but they easily hide away from oxygenated blood and hydrogen peroxide when they get inside us. This is possible whether the wound is deep or shallow.

Proper wound care is important, but be sure to consult with a medical professional. That person will probably tell you to keep up-to-date on your tetanus inoculations—and if you get scratched or punctured with something that has been in contact with soil, dust, or manure/feces, get a tetanus immunoglobulin (TIG) shot immediately.

Feel free to download and share without modification.

Tetanus Infographic
Tetanus/Lockjaw Infographic

By Dawn Pedersen

Science advocate, web designer, educator, artist, and mommy.

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