Most people who get tetanus weren’t vaccinated against it or didn’t complete the entire vaccination schedule.1
Risk areas for 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
Tetanus is found across the world, but some countries have higher incidences than others.2
Stiffness in the jaw muscles, painful muscle spasms that can affect swallowing and breathing, fever, sweating and rapid heartbeat.1
Tetanus can cause problems with breathing and the heart. If left untreated, the symptoms can get worse over a short period of time.1
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. June 2017. Available online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tetanus/ (Last accessed April 2019)
- World Health Organization. Immunization Monitoring. Tetanus (total) reported cases. September 2018. Available online: http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/globalsummary/timeseries/tsincidencentetanus.html (Last accessed April 2019)
- 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 April 2019)
UK-BOTB-1900041 June 2019