Your immunity from antibodies to vaccine-preventable diseases like tetanus and diphtheria may offer you protection for as long as ten years. However, your antibody levels wear over time. Tetanus has no cure. Additionally, there is no guarantee that childhood vaccinations of the diseases will give you lifelong immunity. Tetanus is very dangerous and severe cases might result in seizures and death. Your Princeton urgent care offers their patients immunizations and booster shots for various vaccine-preventable conditions, including tetanus, to help enhance their disease protection.
How dangerous is tetanus
Tetanus is a severe illness resulting from a toxin created by bacteria. When it invades your system, the bacteria produce toxins that cause debilitating muscle contractions. Tetanus can be very deadly. It may result in breathing and paralysis, especially when the muscle spasms are significant, forcing them to break your bones. The condition might take several months to resolve and might force your child to have several weeks of hospital care to get relief.
How can your child get tetanus?
Unlike other vaccine-preventable infections, you are not likely to get tetanus from another person. The disease’s bacteria live in manure, soil and dust and they are likely to enter your body through various breaks in your skin like punctures, animal bites and burns.
Primary signs of tetanus infection
- Muscle spasms
- Painful muscle stiffness
- Jaw cramping
- Trouble swallowing
- Changes in your blood pressure
Do adults need tetanus booster shots?
Your doctor will highly recommend a tetanus booster shot, especially if you have not had one for more than a decade. A tetanus shot is not an injection your healthcare provider only administers after a rusty iron sheet cuts through your skin. Booster shots are vital after your first immunization series as an infant because the vaccines’ protection wanes over time, leaving you susceptible to diseases. Additionally, a tetanus booster shot not only protects you against the deadly virus. Your healthcare provider can bundle the shot with diphtheria vaccine and pertussis (whooping cough vaccine).
Vaccine recommendations to help protect against tetanus
There are two primary vaccines your doctor will suggest to help protect your child against tetanus, DTap and Tdap. Besides protecting your child against tetanus, the vaccinations will also shield him against other ailments like diphtheria and whooping cough. Unfortunately, DTap and Tdap might not offer the young one lifelong protection from the diseases. However, your doctor will advise you to take your child for booster shots to enhance protection.
How does diphtheria affect your system?
The disease results from a bacterial infection, just like tetanus. The condition causes a thick covering to develop at the back of your throat, making it impossible for you to breathe. Besides difficulty breathing, diphtheria may also result in paralysis and death. Unlike tetanus that enters your system through contaminated punctures on the surface of your skin, diphtheria spreads from one person to the other.
Though your system might still have the antibodies, low levels are not always effective. As a result, your immune system might not shield you from deadly ailments. Do not let low antibody levels render you vulnerable to severe vaccination-preventable diseases like tetanus when you can call your healthcare provider to discuss the available prevention options.