The Ukraine Ministry of Health is reminding adults to get their booster shots for tetanus and diphtheria as immunity does not last for a lifetime.

Image/Ukraine MOH
Image/Ukraine MOH

During the first 10 months of 2018, 9 cases of diphtheria have been reported in Ukraine (including 3 children and 6 adults) and 17 cases of tetanus (5 children and 12 adults). The only reliable protection against these diseases is vaccination.

The first planned revaccination of previously vaccinated adults is conducted  at the age of 26 years, followed by planned revaccination with a minimum interval of 10 years from the previous vaccination.

Diphtheria is a dangerous respiratory disease is caused by a potent toxin produced by certain strains of the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Diphtheria is extremely contagious through coughing or sneezing. Risk factors include crowding, poor hygiene, and lack of immunization.

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Tetanus is not transmitted person to person but rather caused by bacteria found in soil and human and animal feces entering the body through cuts and open wounds.

Symptoms include painful muscle spasms, initially of the muscles of the neck and jaw (lockjaw), and later of torso muscles.