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A 21-year-old member asked:

Can i only get tetanus if i step on a rusty nail?

2 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Any wound a problem: Tetanus spores from the dirt can get into any break in your skin and potentially germinate. Over time the growing germs may elaborate the tetanus toxin and give you tetanus. The rusty nail scene is the one most talked about, but any dirty wound in a susceptable person can be a source.
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Dr. Ronda Dennis-Smithart
Specializes in Pediatrics
No: Tetanus spores are commonly found in the soil, and the disease has been associated with wounds contaminated with dirt, feces, saliva. It can even occur in apparently clean wounds, which is why it is so important to keep your tetanus immunization up to date. It can't be transmitted person to person.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Dec 25, 2015

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