Tetanus shots being offered

In the aftermath of last night’s severe weather, the Grady
County Health Department and the Thomas County Health Department are
providing free tetanus shots to residents, volunteers and workers
helping with clean up and recovery who have not been vaccinated within
the past 10 years.
    Those who receive injuries and have not had a tetanus
vaccination within five years are at particular risk, Southwest District
Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant said. “We strongly urge them to
get vaccinated within 72 hours of receiving the injury.”
    Fees will be waived on tetanus shots for those injured or at
risk because of clean-up activities.
    “Tetanus is a major concern after a disaster. It is a severe,
often fatal disease for which there is no cure,” Grant said. “The
best `treatment’ is prevention through immunization.”
    Tetanus bacteria are widespread in the environment, and can
infiltrate the body through puncture wounds, lacerations, minor
abrasions and even splinters.
    “We recommend if you are injured while involved in recovery
efforts, and it has been more than five years since your last tetanus
vaccination, you should get a tetanus shot within three days. Don’t
put it off any longer than that,” Grant said.
    Tetanus attacks the central nervous system within three to 21
days after exposure, depending on the location of the wound. Its first
symptom is commonly spasm of the jaw muscles, which is why the disease
is also referred to as lockjaw.
For more information about free tetanus shots, check with the Grady
County Health Department, the Thomas County Health Department or contact
Southwest District Health in Albany at 229-430-4127.

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