One may not think of Tetanus as deadly, but the CDC indicates that two out of every 10 people die as a result of Tetanus. The effects of contracting Tetanus range from trouble breathing to muscle spasms and paralysis. Since there's no clue, getting vaccinated and keeping your vaccinations up to date is the best preventative measures.
Tetanus is caused by a bacteria that lives in dirt, dust, and feces. It can infect a person through an open would, such as a cut from stepping on a nail or getting cut from other metal objects.
There are 4 vaccines that include protection against tetanus.
- Young children receive the DTap vaccine which covers diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough as part of their childhood vaccinations at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, and 4 to 6 years.
- Young children who have a reaction to the whooping cough portion may instead receive the DT vaccine for diphtheria and tetanus protection.
- Teens receive a booster Tdap vaccine after age 11 to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough.
- Adults need a Td vaccine for tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years.
- Pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccine in the third trimester of pregnancy.