Tetanus is a very serious disease that affects the nervous system and is commonly known as lockjaw. First symptoms of Tetanus are headache and muscular stiffness in the jaw and neck, followed by difficulty in swallowing, rigidity of abdominal muscles, spasms, sweating, and fever.

Diphtheria is an acute bacterial disease that usually affects the tonsils, throat, nose and/or skin. It can make a person unable to breathe, cause paralysis or heart failure. Symptoms of diphtheria include: sore throat, fever, and swollen neck glands. As the disease progresses, a membrane is formed in the throat that blocks breathing which may cause death. One out of every 10 people infected with Diphtheria die.

Pertussis is an acute bacterial disease that affects the respiratory system. It causes a mild to severe prolonged cough. Symptoms of pertussis include: spasmodic cough and inspiratory whoop. Complications of pertussis infection can include vomiting, sinusitis, pneumonia, and respiratory complications.


Visit the Web site of the Immunization Action Coalition and view their "Vaccine Information Statements" for further information about the Meningococcal vaccine.


The Spread of Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis

Tetanus is caused by bacteria that enter the body through a break in the skin. It can get in through even a tiny pinprick or scratch, but prefers deep puncture wounds or cuts like those made by nails or knives. Symptoms begin occurring usually eight days after the infection, but may range from three days to three weeks. About 40 percent of people who get Tetanus die. The germ is commonly found in soil, dust and manure and cannot be transmitted person to person.

Diphtheria is caused by bacteria passed from one person to another in the droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or even laughs. It can also be spread by handling used tissue or by drinking from a glass used by an infected person.

Pertussis is caused by a bacteria that passes from one person to another when an infected person coughs or sneezes.


Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis Vaccine

Adults should have a Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis shot once every 10 years to ensure protection. If you have not had at least three Tdap shots in your lifetime, or if you're not sure if you have, you will need to complete your basic series of three shots and follow up with booster doses every 10 years.


Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis Vaccine Fee

See Charges


For additional information, please contact Cindy Dickinson at cdickinson@santarosa.edu.