Most people who get tetanus weren’t vaccinated against it or didn’t complete the entire vaccination schedule.1
Risk areas for Tetanus
How do you get tetanus?
Tetanus bacteria gets into the body through a skin wound, scratch or animal bite. You can also catch the disease through unhygienic practices in hospital and by injecting drugs.1,3
Which countries are affected by tetanus?
Tetanus is found across the world, but some countries have higher incidences than others.2
What are the symptoms of tetanus?
Stiffness in the jaw muscles, painful muscle spasms that can affect swallowing and breathing, fever, sweating and rapid heartbeat.1
How serious is tetanus?
Tetanus can cause problems with breathing and the heart. If left untreated, the symptoms can get worse over a short period of time.1
Can I prevent getting tetanus?
You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:
- Visit your nearest convenient pharmacy or specialist travel health clinic for a risk assessment before your trip
- Cleaning any new wound thoroughly will reduce the risk of infection but seek medical advice if you have a deep wound, there’s dirt or something inside the wound or if you are not sure if you have been vaccinated against tetanus1,3
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- NHS. Conditions. Tetanus. May 2020. Available online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tetanus/ (Last accessed May 2021)
- World Health Organization. Immunization Monitoring. Tetanus (total) reported cases. October 2020. Available online: https://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/globalsummary/timeseries/tsincidencettetanus.html (Last accessed May 2021)
- World Health Organization (WHO). Weekly Epidemiological Record. Tetanus vaccines: WHO position paper – February 2017. Available online:
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/254582/WER9206.pdf?sequence=1 (Last accessed May 2021)
UK-BOTB-2100017 May 2021