Health - Conscious Series #16 - Anti-Tetanus Injection
Anti-tetanus shot for adults
The aging body of an individual is susceptible to many harmful invaders, such as diseases carried upon by viruses.
More than that, accident inflicts wounds that are susceptible to tetanus, a form of deadly virus that often causes death when neglected to be treated.
My mother, who’s already in her seventies, still working as a volunteer health worker in our barrio, was injected with anti-tetanus vaccine in order to protect her from harmful effects of the virus.
She relayed this good news to me, since I am susceptible to infection.
And the nature of my present job, as a seafarer, overseas, makes me the primary trarget of such virus.
Old ships produces vast amount of rust that should be chipped or removed away in order to prolong the vessel's function.
Most cases of seafarers' infections or work-acquired diseases or sickness is caused by tetanus virus.
Health-Conscious: Anti-Tetanus Shot c/o Ireno Alcala
The 'lockjaw' symptom
Do you or did you experience the so-called 'lockjaw' syndrome?
If yes, then you've been contaminated with tetanus.
Whenever I used those rusty nails from my toolbox in order to build bamboo chairs or repair the door of our comfort room, I always feel a nagging feeling that the muscles of my jaw are contracting. Yes, a mild sensation of being locked or an uneasy feeling that my jaw is locked.
Sometimes, I can't breathe easily, after I completed my work.
I asked the attending midwife at the health center of our barrio.
She said that I was already affected by it, although, my body resistance or immunity can still control its effects.
Aside from it, I also experience irritation and uncontrollable urination.
She further explained that those two are also indications that I already have such contamination on tetanus.
Through me, she wants to disseminate that tetanus infection is rampant around the world.
Tetanus bacterium is mostly present on rust, especially rusty nails.
It is also present both on wild and domesticated animals. So, aside from anti-rabies vaccine, an anti-tetanus shot is also administered once you got bitten by a dog or cat. Even rats and other animals.
The malady called tetanus
Once we got infected by tetanus bacterium (Clostridium tetani), health officers will inject us with the vaccine called tetanus toxoid.
Most severe cases of tetanus victims come from developing countries, like Philippines.
So, local health officers (doctors on general practice, midwives, and volunteers) always campaign for the eradication of this problem.
Children are in danger with the spores of tetanus bacterium, because they play on the streets and always curious with junks (rusty nails, metals, etc.)
Parents are also warned of the dangers being posed by rusty kitchen utensils and razors.
Tetanus infection is rampant in the workforce. So, each worker is facing the unseen danger of this death-causing menace, which can be abrupt or have prolong effect in our lives.
WHO Monitoring on Tetanus
14,132 reported cases
61,000 estimated deaths in <5 years (in 2008)
83 estimated DTP3 coverage
Source: WHO 2011 global figures on Tetanus
WHO updates on tetanus
World Health Organization, through its member-nations, provides vaccine against tetanus and update its data annually, based on the reports coming from local government units (LGUs).
Tetanus toxoid is administered to mothers before and during pregnancy in order to prevent neonatal and maternal tetanus. It means the cord care on the babies will be ensured and safe delivery of the mothers, too.
Prevention: Toxoid as DTP, DT, TT or Td - at least three primary doses given by the intramuscular route