Tetanus, also known by its common name Lockjaw can be seriously life threatening infection causing an over-production of toxins that affect the nervous system and cause inflammation of the neck and jaw muscles making breathing painfully difficult.
Tetanus “Clostridium Tetani” Is another one of the diseases which through advances in medical advances has nearly been eradicated in the western world. Tetanus bacteria is slightly different to others in the sense that it can survive outside of the body for some time and it’s spores can be found in soil and animal dung of farm animals like cows and horses. The Tetanus virus enters the body through open wounds, tears, lesions, burns, piercings and animal bites. When deep wounds are infected with Tetanus contaminants the disease has a delayed onset and the condition can break out without the host being aware of what caused it.
In most cases when someone has been infected, the Tetanus virus develops into symptoms in around four to twenty one days. The main symptoms include:
It is not advised to leave these symptoms untreated, as the Tetanus virus progresses the symptoms get worse and in many cases becomes life threatening as the chances of cardiac arrest and suffocation increase exponentially
If you are traveling and sustain an injury that’s deep or a burn and has become contaminated or has a foreign object lodged in their you would be wise to attempt to clean it out as best as possible and seek medical attention instantly. Those that are un-vaccinated are of course at a much higher risk.
Whether you are at home or abroad, upon arriving under the care of a medical professional, if they suspect that you have indeed contacted the Tetanus virus they will give you a shot f Tetanus Immunoglobulin and various antibiotics. The Doctor or nurse on hand will also give you a dose of the Tetanus Vaccine if it is you have not been vaccinated in the past.
The Tetanus Diphtheria vaccination is typically part of your national vaccination schedule; babies are given their inoculation between the ages of eight, twelve and sixteen weeks old with the routine five in one vaccine that also includes: Tetanus, Whooping Cough, Polio and Haemophilus Influenza.
A booster is administered at pre-school age a booster known as the four in one. Teenagers get a final booster as part of what is called the three in one when they’re around fourteen years old.
The routine schedule of inoculations should in theory problem life time coverage however it is recommended particularly in cases abroad if any deep wounds lacerations or open wounds become contaminated It would be wise to seek medical attention.
If you are unvaccinated and planning on travelling you should be made aware that individual Tetanus vaccination is carried out over three stages with four weeks in between each and so adequate planning before your trip is required.
Tetanus across The World
Tetanus can be found all over the world and the safest way to protect yourself is through vaccination, most people in the western world are inoculated through national vaccination programs.
Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Khemet (Modern day Egypt), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland , Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Vatican City
Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, North Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen
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Further to being inoculated, the best way to avoid the Tetanus disease is to be careful when on your travels is to be careful and be hygienic if you do have an accident that that breaks the skin.
The single best way to avoid contracting the Tetanus virus is vaccination in the UK excluding a handful of reported cases and even smaller number of fatalities it’s safe to say that the issue is more or less eradicated. With that being said, it still remains a problem for large parts of the world. Tetanus is not something that can be treated at home and requires medical assistance where they may:
Most people who catch the Tetanus virus make a full recovery; the risk has dissipated so much so that the statistics show only around one in ten cases turn out to fatal.
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