Tdap immunization encouraged for preteens
Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department encourages all preteens (age 11 or 12) to get their Tdap vaccination.
Tdap protects against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). The Tdap vaccine takes the place of what used to be called the tetanus booster.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
Tetanus (Lockjaw) is rare in the United States today.
· It causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness, usually all over the body.
· It can lead to tightening of muscles in the head and neck so the person affected can’t open their mouth, swallow, or sometimes even breathe.
· It kills about one out of 10 people who are infected even after receiving the best medical care.
Diphtheria is also rare.
· It can cause a thick coating to form in the back of the throat.
· It can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis and death.
Pertussis causes severe coughing spells which can cause difficulty breathing, vomiting and disturbed sleep.
· It can also lead to weight loss, incontinence and rib fractures.
· Up to two in 100 adolescents and five in 100 adults are hospitalized or have complications, which could include pneumonia or death.
These diseases are caused by bacteria. Diphtheria and pertussis are spread through secretions from coughing or sneezing. Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches or wounds.