Tetanus: the disease of Spring

garden-shovelApril showers bring May flowers.
Flowers bring gardening with rusty tools.
Tools and equipment bring cuts and Tetanus.

An uplifting poem to kick-off Spring, right?!

How we get Tetanus

Along with spring flowers, landscaping endeavors and home repairs tend to sprout, too. The rusty tools and equipment that come with these efforts don’t actually cause Tetanus. But they set up fertile grounds for Tetanus to thrive. The bacteria Clostridium Tetani causes this disease and is found in soil, dust and animal waste. Even minor wounds, when exposed to this bacteria, can be infected with Tetanus.

While maintenance to keep Tetanus at bay is minimal, that does not diminish its seriousness. With a 10% fatality rate, this disease infects the nervous system and causes muscles all over the body to tighten. Tetanus is often referred to as “lockjaw”, because the muscles can tighten so much that the victim cannot even open his mouth or swallow.

Tending to Tetanus

The good news is, Tetanus is a preventable disease and not difficult to treat. After the initial Tetanus vaccination, you just need a booster shot every 10 years. All of the ProHealth offices and ProHealth Medical Care offer a Tetanus booster for only $35 or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) for $50.