Tetanus is a serious disease caused by a bacterial toxin that can cause hospitalization and even death. Although the bacteria that cause the disease can be found all over the world, instances of tetanus have declined significantly thanks to vaccinations. If you’re not sure whether you’re protected against the disease, discover some need-to-know facts before consulting your primary care physician.
A Comprehensive Guide to Tetanus
What Causes Tetanus?
The poison that causes tetanus enters the body through an open wound and can make its way in through even the tiniest scratches. Deep bites, cuts, and puncture wounds make it easier for the bacteria to enter your system.
Soil, manure, and dust are common sources of the C. tetani bacteria responsible for the disease, but it’s also found in the intestines and feces of many animals. Hazards like rusty nails and dog bites are therefore potential causes of tetanus. The condition cannot be spread from person to person.
How Is It Prevented?
Vaccination is the only way to prevent tetanus. Because 10% to 20% of tetanus cases are fatal and the disease can be difficult to treat, both adults and children should see their primary care physician for a vaccination. The booster vaccine for the disease is called Tdap, and it protects against whooping cough and diphtheria in addition to tetanus.
Who Should Get the Vaccine?
The CDC recommends children receive their initial vaccine against tetanus at 2, 4, and 6 months, and again at 15 through 18 months. Boosters are also advised for children ages 4 through 6. Preteens can then receive their Tdap vaccine at age 11 or 12. It’s important for individuals to maintain a vaccine schedule into adulthood as well. Adults should visit their primary care physician for a booster every 10 years, but those who weren’t fully immunized must receive a three-dose primary series first.
If you think you or one of your family members might be due for a vaccination, enlist the help of HDR Healthcare Network. Located in the Bronx, NY, this team of primary care physicians provides prompt access to quality care with the convenience of urgent care. They provide extended hours and a broad range of services to meet each patient’s individual needs. Learn more about their services online or call (929) 256-5005 to contact the office.