Early symptoms of tetanus: I was stabbed by a rusty nail (period of tetanus injection)
Q: A woman in her mid-20s. While cleaning up the warehouse, I was stabbed in the back of my hand by a rusty nail. The next day, I saw that the pricked area was swollen red. It’s like I got burned.
Is this an early symptom of tetanus? I don’t remember when the last time I was vaccinated. Should I go to see a doctor?
A: The tetanus gradually begins to appear after an incubation period of 3 to 14 days after the wound occurs. Pain and paralysis occur as the muscles around the wound clumps, and if it progresses throughout the body, it can be difficult to open your mouth or swallow food.
I think it will get better after a few days while disinfecting the nail-stabbed wound well. However, if the wound swells up and heats up red and the pain persists, you must visit the hospital as soon as possible for treatment.
To prevent tetanus, disinfect it with iodine or hydrogen peroxide immediately after the wound, and get tetanus vaccination shots and tetanus immunoglobulin depending on the wound condition or vaccination history.
[Period of tetanus injection]
You need to get three vaccinations for basic vaccinations. Most of them fit in infants and toddlers. You will be vaccinated three times every two, four, and six months.
At the age of 18 months, you will receive the first additional vaccination, and at the age of 4-6, you will receive the second vaccination. After that, you need to get an additional vaccination every 10 years to maintain the preventive effect. If you don’t remember getting an injection, you’d better get a basic vaccination first.
The injury this time seems unlikely to be a tetanus, but it would be better to get a vaccination in advance for later purposes.