Because established tetanus is often fatal, even with expert treatment, prevention is of paramount importance. The two major means of preventing tetanus are immunization and wound care.
There are two types of immunization for any disease -- active and passive. Active immunization is when vaccines are given to a person so that the immune system can make antibodies to kill the infecting germ. In the U.S., health officials recommend active immunization of infants and children with DTaP -- diphtheria,...
Certain diseases have been identified that pose the greatest threat to
the U.S. public. At this time, there is a supply of anthrax and smallpox
vaccines only. These
immunizations are not currently available to or
recommended for the general public. But the government has advised immunization
for people at high risk of exposure to anthrax or smallpox, such as health care
workers specifically designated to respond to a bioterrorism emergency. Some of
these recommendations are listed below.
This shot is for people at high risk of exposure, such as
certain lab workers, people who work with imported animals where preventive
standards are lacking (such as veterinarians who travel to work in other
countries), and certain military members.
Five shots are given over 18 months. And booster shots
are needed every year for continued protection (immunity).
This shot is for certain health care and public health workers,
infection-control specialists, and certain military members.
This shot is given once as several quick punctures on
the upper arm, using a special prong device. Immunity after a first-time
immunization is likely to be 3 to 5 years. If you have been immunized in the
past, successful revaccination may extend your immunity.
United States has enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate Americans in an
More information about these
immunization recommendations can be found on the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) website at www.bt.cdc.gov/bioterrorism. For general
information about bioterrorism issues, see the topic
Terrorism and Other Public Health Threats.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this