HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy today announced the Department of Health is responding to a request from Sullivan County and will provide tetanus shots to residents there who may have been exposed to debris from recent flooding.
Heavy rains caused severe flash flooding conditions in Sullivan County earlier this month. Between Oct. 20 and 21, more than eight inches of rain fell in some areas of the county.
Anyone who believes they came into contact with flood debris in Sullivan County may receive his or her free tetanus shot from 2:00 to 6:00 PM, Friday, Oct. 28, and 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Hillsgrove Village Volunteer Fire Company, 2232 Route 87, in Hillsgrove. Department of Health staff will also be available to provide on-site support and consultation for first responders.
"Floods can cause serious health effects for people well after the waters have subsided, so we want to ensure that everyone affected is safe in the long term," said Secretary Murphy. "We're providing free tetanus shots to any Sullivan County residents or emergency personnel who may have come into contact with flood debris to prevent infections resulting from exposure."
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