Flood Waters & Tetanus
What You Need to Know from the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department
What is tetanus?
Also known as “lockjaw”, tetanus is a disease of the nerves caused by
bacteria in a contaminated wound.
- The tetanus bacteria is commonly found in soil.
- It enters the body through any opening, from a slight scratch to a severe wound.
- It can cause painful spasms of all muscles, convulsions and even death.
Who should get Td (tetanus/diphtheria) vaccine?
- Persons lacking a complete primary series of tetanus and diphtheria vaccines.
- Persons who have not had a booster of Td in the last 10 years.
- Persons who have a more severe or dirty wound if more than 5 years have elapsed since their last Td booster.
- Exposure to flood water alone is not a reason to receive a tetanus vaccine.
To find out if you need a tetanus vaccine, contact your health care provider or the Wheeling Ohio County Health Department. For more information call 304.234.3682