tetanus - MASTA Travel Health | For All Your Vaccination advice


Tetanus is caused by a bacteria that releases a powerful toxin (poison) into the body. It is a serious disease, which can be fatal even with medical treatment. In developed countries, such as the UK, tetanus is rare due to vaccination programmes, but it is found worldwide.
  • Symptoms Symptoms include fever, stiffness of the jaw (“lockjaw”), muscles in the back, trunk, hands and feet becoming rigid, followed by painful spasms. Breathing muscles can be affected.
  • How do you catch tetanus? Cells produced by the bacteria (spores) are present in soil, manure and occasionally in injected drugs and enter the body through a wound or break in the skin.
  • Incubation period 3 – 21 days
  • Diagnosis As there may not be a noticeable wound, diagnosis is made based on the symptoms. Some laboratory tes


Clean all wounds with soap and water. Seek medical advice even if vaccinated, in case antibiotics are needed. A booster vaccine can be given to travellers who have had the primary UK childhood schedule. It comes as a combined vaccination with diphtheria and polio.


Hospital treatment is required, in intensive care. Tetanus and other vaccinations are given

Vaccination options

Part of the standard UK vaccination schedule, a booster is offered to travellers combined with diphtheria and polio.

Level of protection: ~ 95-100%

Protection duration: 10 years.

How is it given: Single booster injection.

Ideally start: Booster is suitable for last minute travellers.

£41.00 Pricing shown is per dose

  • Even a minor wound has the potential to be infected with tetanus.
  • The main form of tetanus in less-developed countries occurs in new-born babies.
  • Complications of tetanus include bone fractures, breathing difficulties and death.
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