COVID-19: Stay up to date with our coverage on the coronavirus pandemic. Read more >



Travel Health Advice - Tetanus


What is it? Tetanus is a spore present in the soil worldwide, which infects open wounds to produce a potent neurotoxin. Symptoms? Muscle spasms, initially lockjaw, followed by sustained back spasms, then generalised seizures, which contribute to the serious complications of tetanus (dysphagia, aspiration pneumonia) and lead to death unless intense supportive treatment is provided. Where is it present? Worldwide. Level of risk? High - any injury producing a wound can lead to tetanus infection. What can I do to prevent getting it? Vaccine, first provided at birth, thereafter booster shots every 10 years. Treatment? A booster dose of Td should generally be used in preference to tetanus toxoid (TT) immediately following a wound.

View information on diseases:

African Sleeping Sickness, American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), Anthrax, Brucellosis, Cholera, Dengue Fever, Diphtheria, Giardiasis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis E, HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Influenza, Japanese encephalitis, Leishmaniasis, Leptospirosis (including Weil disease), Lyme disease, Malaria, Meningococcal disease, Plague, Rabies, SARS, Schistosomiasis (bilharzia), Swine flu, Tetanus, Tick-borne encephalitis, Tuberculosis, Typhoid fever, Typhus fever, Yellow fever