Tetanus is a serious disease of the central nervous system that is caused by bacteria that is found in soil. The disease is spread through open cuts and wounds that have been contaminated with infected soil.

Tetanus is found throughout the world


Tetanus toxin spreads through the bloodstream and can cause serious damage to the nervous system. Early symptoms of the disease include stiffness of the jaw muscles (lockjaw), difficulties swallowing and muscle spasms. The disease can spread to affect more muscles in the body including the respiratory muscles. This can cause difficulties with breathing and death can occur.


Treatment for tetanus usually involves giving immunoglobulin and antibiotics. Those infected will often require intensive care until the effects of the disease wear off.

Recommendations for Travellers

Tetanus is the only vaccine-preventable disease that is infectious but not contagious!

A combination vaccine called Revaxis is available to protect adults against diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Children normally receive these vaccinations as part of the national schedule. Travellers should ensure that they have had a primary course of vaccine and receive a booster every 10 years if they are travelling to an area where diphtheria, tetanus or polio are considered high risk.

As the disease is contracted through puncture wounds and burns, the easiest way to protect against it is to simply use common sense and avoid potentially dangerous situations.  Should you receive any injuries on your travels, be sure to seek medical attention - even if the wound doesn't seem too bad, you may run the risk of contracting tetanus.

Tetanus can also be caused through intravenous drug use.

For more information please visit fit for travel.

We provide vaccinations by appointment at our clinics in Farnborough in Hampshire and Woking in Surrey. If inconvenient, please contact us to take advantage of our Mobile Clinic service.

Single dose course

Price per dose: D.T.P £40.00

To make an appointment please click here

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