Your Guide To Doctors, Health Information, and Better Health!
Your Health Magazine Logo
The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Doctors Express
When Was Your Last Tetanus Booster?
AFC Doctors Express
. https://doctorsexpress.com/

When Was Your Last Tetanus Booster?

Do you know when you had your last tetanus booster? Has it been 10 years since your last one? Many of us don't think about it until we get a cut or a wound and then we wonder if we need one. If you did write it down, now may be a good time to go back and see when you are due for another. Interestingly, men under age 59 are three times more likely than women to get tetanus because they have not had booster shots.

What is tetanus and how do you get it?

Tetanus is a potentially fatal disease caused by bacteria found in dirt, dust and soil. The bacteria live all over the world and the disease can occur in both humans and animals. Tetanus is the only vaccine-preventable disease that is not contagious. You can't catch Tetanus from someone else.

It happens when dust or dirt comes in contact with an open wound that can be from a pinprick to a deep wound. Some of the typical wounds that lead to tetanus infections are cuts, scrapes, lacerations, animal bites, tattoos, postsurgical wounds, body piercings even splinters.

An infection can set in as little as two days or as long as a couple of months. Once tetanus is inside the bloodstream, the bacteria grows, producing a deadly toxin that can cause spasms and paralysis of muscles.

Symptoms of tetanus include headache, sweating, fever, difficulty swallowing and stiffness of the jaw (lockjaw) and abdominal muscles. Lockjaw is the most dangerous symptom because it can lead to death by suffocation.

What can you do to prevent tetanus?

You can prevent tetanus by getting a regular tetanus vaccine booster shot. You probably received several tetanus shots when you were a child. Even though you may have had shots, tetanus immunity does not last forever.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you get a tetanus booster every ten years. If you do get injured during that time, your doctor may request that you have another booster if it has been longer than five years since your last one. If you are traveling internationally, you'll want to be up to date with your immunity because tetanus may be more common where you're visiting, especially if you are visiting a developing country.

Tetanus booster shots are easy to get. You can call your doctor or stop by your local urgent care or medical clinic.

Be sure to record the date you receive your booster so you won't wonder next time.

MD (301) 805-6805 | VA (703) 288-3130