The weather is opening up; and folks are out and about where the germs live that causes Tetanus. However, just being outside and getting a wound is not the only way you can get Tetanus.
This used to be commonly called, “Lock Jaw,” because those infected could actually have their jaws lock up tight and cause death. The CDC in Atlanta is warning that both parents and children should be immunized. See link below
This germ is still lurking about and parents and kids alike should be careful when visiting petting zoos or the farm; as they live greatly in manure. But this germ can be found in common soil just about anywhere.
Children continually get their booster shots; but since adults only have to have one every ten years – you might just forget; and be due one.
Tetanus used to be much more common when people lived on farms and around rusty fences, farm equipment and nails. What kid living on a farm ever escaped stepping on a nail or piece of glass?
Since so many kids went barefoot in the summer; and since these germs just love living in the soil (especially where animals live), many would get this disease; but with the advent of the immunization shots, it is not nearly so common; but is still a danger.
While Tetanus was widely associated with rusty nails, any open wound can be subject to the infection.
Just what is Tetanus?
“Tetanus is a serious illness caused by tetanus bacteria. The bacteria live in soil, saliva, dust and manure. The bacteria usually enter the body through a deep cut, like those you might get from cutting yourself with a knife or stepping on a nail.
The infection causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw, which makes it impossible to open your mouth or swallow. If this happens, you could die of suffocation.
If you get tetanus, there is usually a long course of treatment. The tetanus vaccine can prevent tetanus but its protection does not last forever. Adults should get a tetanus shot, or booster, every 10 years. If you get a bad cut or burn, see your doctor–you may need a booster. If you find that you need to have a new shot, watch for a reaction to the serum as well.”
Source: Medline Plus via Department of Health and Human Services: http://www.hhs.gov/news/healthbeat/2011/05/20110504a.html
There are photos on Google of patients with Tetanus and it shows their bodies drawing backward very grotesquely with head drawing backward and feet drawing up toward the head. Many years ago, we had a neighbor whose small child died in her arms drawing back until he suffocated.
CDC in Atlanta information:
Check this site for possible but rare reactions to the Tetanus vaccine. Discuss this with your doctor especially if you have a compromised immune system. He/She should be able to advise you with you should do – to have the shot – or not.