Welcome to the Tetanus section of the Washington Travel Clinic website. This page contains valuable information on Tetanus and its prevention, as well as links to the CDC website where you can learn about Tetanus vaccination.
The tetanus vaccine is available alone, combined with diphtheria vaccine, or combined with diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccines. The Washington Travel Clinic offers only the combined tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccine, or Tdap. Our fee structure is clearly posted in the Pricing section. For an easy online appointment, please click here. Also visit our Homepage for more information about the full spectrum of our services.
Tetanus is a serious disease that causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 1 in 10 cases. Several vaccines are used to prevent tetanus among children, adolescents, and adults. Tetanus is different from other vaccine-preventable diseases because it does not spread from person to person. The bacteria, Clostridium tetani, are everywhere in the environment, including soil, dust and manure. They enter the body through breaks in the skin – usually cuts or puncture wounds caused by contaminated objects.
Today, tetanus is uncommon in the United States, with an average of 29 reported cases per year from 1996 through 2009. Nearly all cases of tetanus are among people who have never received a tetanus vaccine, or adults who don’t stay up to date on their 10-year booster shots. Symptoms include headache, jaw cramping, muscle spasms, painful muscle stiffness all over the body, trouble swallowing, seizures, and fever.
Being fully immunized is the best tool to prevent tetanus. Tetanus vaccines are recommended for people of all ages, with booster shots throughout life. Immediate and proper wound care can also help prevent infection. If you get a tetanus infection, you can still get it again someday if you’re not protected by timely vaccination.
Click here for more information about Tetanus from the CDC website.