Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is a serious but preventable disease that affects the body's muscles and nerves. It typically arises from a skin wound that becomes contaminated by a bacterium called clostridium tetani, which is often found in soil.
Without treatment, tetanus can be fatal. Vaccination is the best protection. People of all ages can contract tetanus, but the disease is particularly common and serious in newborn babies (neonatal tetanus) and women during pregnancy (maternal tetanus).
On 30 October 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that China has successfully eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus.