Tetanus is a preventable disease that affects the body’s central nervous system. The bacteria that cause tetanus are usually found in soil, dust, and manure and enter the body through cuts or puncture wounds caused by contaminated objects, such as nails and splinters. During an emergency, tetanus is recommended for impacted residents or first responders who have not had a documented dose within the past five years.
In addition to tetanus vaccination, the following procedures will help keep people safe while cleaning up flood debris:
· Wear watertight boots with a steel toe and insole, gloves, long pants, and safety glasses during cleanup operations; sneakers are not recommended because they will not prevent punctures, bites, or crush injuries. Wear a hardhat if there is any danger of falling debris.
· Frequently wash hands with soap and clean, running water, especially before meals and before and after cleanup activities.
· Keep children away from debris and don’t allow them to play with toys or objects that have been in contact with floodwater and debris.
For more information visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org.