Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein today announced the availability of tetanus vaccine to emergency responders. With the potential for emergency responders to suffer cuts or deep wounds during cleanup in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, the Department of Health today issued advice on guarding against tetanus bacterial infection.
Adult emergency responders involved in cleanup projects are advised to ensure they have been immunized for tetanus within the last 10 years and to receive a tetanus booster if they have not. If an emergency responder is unsure about the date of their last tetanus shot, they should receive Tdap (tetanus diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertusis).
“Protecting the health and safety of our emergency responders is a priority,” said County Executive Mangano. “This partnership with Catholic Health Services will assure that our emergency responders who are performing cleanup work as result of superstorm Sandy receive the necessary protection.”
"A tetanus vaccination is a safe and effective way for emergency responders to protect themselves against tetanus,” said Commissioner Eisenstein said. "I urge all emergency responders involved in the cleanup from superstorm Sandy to take advantage of this opportunity.”
“In the wake of the devastation following Hurricane Sandy, we remained focused on ensuring the health and wellness of individuals in the communities impacted by this storm,” said Joel Yohai, MD, Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs/Chief Medical Officer, Catholic Health Services. “Catholic Health Services couldn’t be more proud to collaborate with County Executive Mangano and Dr. Eisenstein in delivering critically important tetanus immunizations to Island Park emergency responders. As they continue to work to restore these neighborhoods, they can do so knowing they are protected against this serious bacterial infection.”
The vaccine will be available:
Saturday, November 17, 2012
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
The Island Park Train Station
Long Beach Road and Austin Boulevard, Island Park NY 11558
Tetanus, which can be fatal if left untreated, is an infection caused by bacteria that is present in dust, soil or manure, and enters the body through puncture wounds or cuts. After entering the body, the bacteria can produce toxins that can cause painful muscle contractions in the neck and abdomen, which are often characterized as "lockjaw", and can impair breathing. All wounds and cuts should be washed thoroughly with soap and water. Medical attention should be sought for puncture wounds and lacerations.
As a result of widespread immunization, tetanus is a rare disease in the U.S., and no cases of tetanus have been reported in Nassau County since superstorm Sandy.
Additional information on tetanus is available on the New York State Department of Health web page at: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/tetanus/fact_sheet.htm