your Tetanus Shot A Boost
tetanus cases are from gardening injuries?
even minor scrapes
put gardeners at risk
Gardening, yard work and landscape injuries can
be as simple as a scrape or as severe as a deep
puncture wound, but any that break the skin can
leave people at risk for tetanus, a serious and
potentially fatal bacterial disease. According
to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), almost one-third of reported
tetanus cases come from gardening or farming
injuries. The tetanus booster shot is an
effective means of prevention and should be
administered every 10 years.
?If you can?t remember the last time you had a
tetanus shot, it?s probably time to get the
booster,? said Kay Renny, manager of community
programs for Visiting Nurse Association of
Southeast Michigan. ?Most people think of
tetanus when they step on a rusty nail, but a
deep puncture wound from a thorn can be just as
Tetanus, commonly called ?lockjaw? is a
bacterial disease that affects the nervous
system. An infection can occur with even the
tiniest break in the skin.
are present worldwide and are commonly found in
soil, dust and manure. The first signs of a
tetanus infection include headache and muscle
spasms of the jaw. As the disease progresses,
convulsions spread and can be severe enough to
break bones. Three out of 10 people diagnosed
with tetanus die from it. Almost all deaths are
in persons age 40 and older.
Five of the most
common injuries that put gardeners at risk are
lawnmower accidents, falls from a ladder,
chainsaw injuries, splinters and deep puncture
wounds from thorns and brambles.
immunizations are readily available. Visiting
Nurse Association of Southeast Michigan offers
the booster shot for $20 per immunization by
individual appointment or can provide on site
clinics to immunize members of gardening
organizations. Call (800) 882-5720, ext. 8755 or
248-967-8755 for more information.
is a serious bacterial disease that affects the nervous system. Tetanus is
caused by Clostridium tetani—bacteria that produce a toxin. Bacteria may
enter the body through a puncture wound contaminated with soil, street dust or
feces; lacerations, burns and trivial or unnoticed wounds; injecting
contaminated street drugs; or occasionally after a surgical procedure. Tetanus
is not contagious. Symptoms may be limited to painful muscular spasms and
contractions in the affected extremity but may also include seizures and severe
breathing difficulties. Complications may lead to hospitalization and even
death. However, generalized tetanus is more common, with spasms beginning in
the jaw muscles and progressing to muscle spasms in the neck, body, limbs,
respiratory system, and pharynx.
contagious bacterial disease that primarily affects the throat area; and
occasionally other mucous membranes, skin, conjunctivae or vagina. Diphtheria
is caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The disease is spread when infected
people release the toxin into the air through sneezing, coughing or a droplet
infection and when others use objects from diphtheria-infected people, such as
eating utensils, towels, and handkerchiefs. The toxins create changes on the
affected surface resulting in a membrane-like covering to form. Complications
include breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and even death. Healthy
people not experiencing symptoms may harbor the bacteria and infect others.
People who have recovered from acute diphtheria may harbor the bacteria in
their throats for two to four weeks (these people are carriers).
Who should receive the Tetanus
and Diphtheria vaccine?
Any one who has completed the primary immunizing course and has not received a
booster in the last 10 years.
- Tetanus and Diphtheria can be prevented with a safe, effective and generally
well-tolerated vaccine. The vaccine contains detoxified bacteria. An individual
will not contract Tetanus or Diphtheria from the vaccine. The Center for
Disease Control reports protection should last for at least 10 years. The
vaccine does not eliminate carriage of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the use of the combined
toxoids vaccine rather than single component vaccines for both primary and
Risks and reactions
- The most common side effects of the vaccine were soreness in
the arm where the shot was given, redness and or firmness at the
site all which occurred within 3 days of the vaccination. Most
side effects were considered mild and did not last for more than
24 hours; however, there is a potential risk of adverse and anaphylactic
reactions, including death. You cannot contract Tetanus or Diphtheria
from the vaccine.