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Q & A: tetanus and nails

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Rusted iron nails are tetanus, right? What if you were wounded with a rusted iron nail then you were directed to boil the rusted iron nail and drink it, what would be the effect of it?
- krsitine
philippines
A:
The tetanus bacterium is found widely in the environment. It is not a necessary part of rusty nails, but these may have enough crud on them to be likely carriers of it. However, other puncture wounds can also give you tetanus. The best way to avoid tetanus is to get regular vaccines- at least once every ten years once you're an adult, more earlier. There are some ather treatments for possible tetanus infection that can be started after getting a puncture, but according to the Web sites I've seen (last week when my son cut his foot outdoors) they aren't as effective.

As for boiling the nail and drinking the water, that sounds like a dangerous waste of time when prompt real treatment is needed.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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