(HealthDay News) -- Tetanus infection can result from exposure to a life-threatening bacteria found in soil. It can enter the body through an open wound, blocking signals from the spinal cord that help control the muscles.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine says you should contact a doctor at once if:

  • You have been injured while outside.
  • You have an open wound that has been exposed to soil.
  • You haven't received a tetanus booster shot within the last five years, or aren't sure when you were last vaccinated for tetanus.