After an incubation period of around 12 days the disease affects the nervous system, causing muscle spasms and rigidity. This can eventually lead to respiratory failure and death.

Who is at risk of Tetanus?

Tetanus spores are found all over the world including the United Kingdom.

How can I prevent Tetanus?

The best method of protection is vaccination. In the UK tetanus vaccination is part of the routine immunisation programme and is given in a combined vaccine with diphtheria as a primary dose and reinforced for the purpose of travel. For those remaining in the UK, current UK guidelines state that a total of five doses of the vaccine are considered to give lifelong immunity — the exception is in the case of a tetanus prone wound when a booster is given as required.


Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.