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Occupational Medicine: What We Do

About Tetanus and Diphtheria

Tetanus (lockjaw), and diphtheria are serious diseases. Tetanus is caused by a germ that enters the body through a cut or wound. Diphtheria spreads when germs pass from an infected person to the nose and throat of others.

Tetanus causes serious, painful spasms of all muscles and it can lead to "locking" of the jaw so that the patient cannot open his or her mouth or swallow.

Diphtheria causes a thick coating in the nose, throat or airway and it can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis or death.