HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy today announced the Department of Health is responding to requests from Lycoming and Centre Counties and will provide tetanus shots to residents there who may have been exposed to debris from recent flash flooding.
"You may want to get a tetanus shot if you came in contact with debris during the flooding or cleanup if you haven't had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years, or can't remember when you had your last one," said Secretary Murphy. "Even now, contaminants associated with the flooding can cause gastrointestinal diseases and potentially lead to infections of existing or new wounds."
Free tetanus shots will be available for individuals from Lycoming County who may have come into contact with flood debris on Tuesday, November 1, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM at the Ralston Volunteer Fire Company, 10970 Route 14 Highway, in Ralston and on Thursday, November 3, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM at the Lycoming County Department of Public Safety, 542 County Farm Road, Suite 101, in Montoursville.
Centre County tetanus shots will be provided on Thursday, November 3, from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Freedom Life Church, 113 Sunset Acres, in Bellefonte.
Department of Health staff will be available at all clinics to provide on-site support and consultation for residents and first responders.
Tetanus, sometimes called "lockjaw," can cause symptoms such as fever, jaw cramping, muscle spasms, and seizures. Tetanus is contracted through a wound which comes in contact with soil or debris contaminated with the tetanus bacteria. It is not transmitted from person to person. Tetanus can also occur following drug injection using contaminated needles, equipment, or drugs.
A tetanus booster is recommended for anyone who has not had a tetanus shot in the past ten years. A booster dose may also be recommended if an individual is wounded and has not had a tetanus shot in the past five years.
Any Pennsylvanians who may have come into contact with flood debris in other counties can call 1-877-PA-HEALTH to get more information on tetanus shots available in their communities. More information on tetanus is available at www.health.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Hutcheson, 717-787-1783
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health