Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis

TETANUS

People may develop tetanus after stepping on a nail, getting cut with a knife, or any other injury that causes a deep cut. Tetanus is a serious illness is caused by a type of bacteria found in soil, dust, manure and saliva. It is sometimes called “lockjaw” because it causes painful muscle-tightening all over the body. If the muscles of the jaw lock, it may be impossible to swallow or open the mouth—which can lead to suffocation.

A tetanus vaccine, taken once every ten years, can prevent tetanus. However, after a bad cut or burn, a booster shot may be needed.

Read more about the Tetanus vaccine in our article, “When Was Your Last Tetanus Shot?

Source: US National Library of Medicine
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tetanus.html

DIPHTHERIA

This bacterial infection cases a severe sore throat, fever, chills, and swollen glands. Diphtheria is usually contracted when an infected person coughs and sneezes. If not treated, it produces a poison that can cause heart failure, paralysis, or other serious complications.

A vaccination for diphtheria is available in the diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT or TDAP) vaccine. A booster shot should be given every ten years. Because most American adults have received regular vaccinations, diphtheria is very rare in the United States.

Source: US National Library of Medicine
http://vsearch.nlm.nih.gov/vivisimo/cgi-bin/query-meta?v%3Aproject=medlineplus&query=diphtheria

PERTUSSIS

Pertussis—also known as whooping cough—is a bacterial disease that is more common in infants and young children than adults, though anyone can get pertussis. Whooping cough gets its name from the noise made taking a breath after intense coughing. Some with whooping cough may cough hard enough to vomit or even have choking spells. Pertussis is particularly dangerous for infants.

US National Library of Medicine
http://vsearch.nlm.nih.gov/vivisimo/cgi-bin/query-meta?v%3Aproject=medlineplus&query=pertussis

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