People continue to die of tetanus in France

On meurt encore du tétanos en France

If tetanus has become exceptional in France, it continues to make victims in france. In the last five years, eight people have died. The case could have been avoided with vaccination.

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Eight people died of tetanus in the last five years in France. Between 2012 and 2017, the disease has infected 35 French, reports the public Health agency in France’s epidemiological Bulletin weekly. However, “The whole of these cases and deaths could be prevented by better application of the schedule of tetanus immunization and in the event of a wound by vaccination and immunoglobulin administration”, reports the press release.

This pathology is a toxi-infection, acute and serious, and often fatal. It is due to a potent neurotoxin that may be present in the gastrointestinal tract of animals, in animal dung or on the soil. Tetanus enters the body through a wound. Most cases occur within 14 days after the infection, says WHO. The symptoms include cramps, muscle spasms, seizures, headaches, fever, breathing difficulties…

The older people concerned

Among the patients who have contracted tetanus during this period, 71% were 70 years and more than half were women. “Very unusual, 3 cases have been reported in young boys, aged respectively 3, 4 and 8 years old all born in metropolitan France”, the report adds. The child of 4 years had a vaccination incomplete, and the other two were not vaccinated.

For a majority of cases, the door of entry for tetanus was the injuries often minimal, by contaminated equipment, of the earth, during gardening work or outside. For others, it was a chronic wound : ulcer, wound, pre-existing soiled, or stump of an amputation poorly protected.

The importance of vaccination

All the cases were non-or improperly vaccinated. The vaccine for tetanus is part of routine vaccinations of infants since 1940, and, since 1 June last, of the 11 obligatory vaccines to administer to children before 18 months.

The vaccination consists of two initial doses two months apart at the age of two months. Following reminders to 11 months, 6 years and between 11 and 13 years old, then at 25, 45 and 65 years of age, as well as all of the ten years from 75 years. Public health France recalls the importance of the vaccination, which is often poorly respected in the adult age.

To read also :

⋙ Vaccines, examinations, testing : what medical appointments at 30, 40 or 50 years ?

⋙ Influenza : 4 things to know before getting vaccinated

⋙ DT polio : that includes this vaccine ?

Estelle Priam

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