well, perhaps I should get a booster shot, then....

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Gardening can kill - so get vaccinated 3 Vancouver Islanders died of tetanus last year Cindy E. Harnett, Victoria Times Colonist Published: Sunday, March 02, 2008 Gardening can kill you - so if you don't want to be pushing up daisies in a way you didn't plan, get a tetanus shot every 10 years, said chief medical health officer Richard Stanwick.
Three people who died of tetanus on Vancouver Island last year are suspected to have picked up the bug from soil.
Tetanus, commonly known as lockjaw, is a serious infection caused by a germ that lives in soil and manure. It thrives on damaged tissue, making its way into the body through even minor cuts on the hands, deep punctures caused by animal bites or anything dirty, such as a rusty nail. The deaths stem from a worrisome trend: The fact that adults are not getting regular immunization shots, Stanwick said.
"There's a lot of risk in the garden," Stanwick said. "People should make sure they have appropriate gear. Part of that gear [apart from gloves] is making sure you're properly immunized."
The victims were 50 years and older, Stanwick said. "They are all people who haven't had an immunization in at least 10 years or longer."
Every decade, an adult should be immunized against tetanus, diphtheria and polio, Stanwick said. Another string of vaccines is also recommended for adults in high-risk groups.
"The fact we are actually seeing these sorts of deaths from [tetanus] - something that should never occur - just raises the alarm of how important prevention is, whether it's good hand-washing and wound care to getting your immunizations," he said.
Tetanus can cause prolonged contraction of skeletal muscles, stiffness, spasms and death. It can be prevented by immunization or treatment following exposure.
Public health officials are concerned that many adults tend to think of immunizations - other than the well-publicized flu shots - as being for children only.
"We talk about people getting the pneumococcal vaccine over age 65 but really the commitment to immunization is a lifelong thing," Stanwick said.
A survey released in January by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States confirmed that confusion abounds.
The immunization survey conducted last summer - with responses from about 7,000 Americans - reported that the flu shot was the only vaccine most could name. It showed only 3 to 18 per cent could name the vaccines for other hazards, which include tetanus; diphtheria; pneumococcal disease; hepatitis A; hepatits B; pertussis (whooping cough); meningococcal disease; and shingles.
Public health officials are considering adding whooping cough back into the regime for adults, Stanwick said, because there have been occasional outbreaks of that illness.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, a random phone survey conducted in 2002 among Canadians age 18 years and older found that only 54 per cent of respondents had adequate coverage for tetanus. This rate was lowest in those aged 60 and older.
snipped-for-privacy@tc.canwest.com
Victoria Times Colonist 2008
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I mean... I love my work as a maintenance gardener but it's not to die for. :) john up in hicktoria cannaduh
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canuckistani wrote:

You could and should get the shot after the fact, i.e. if wound is contaminated. I got my last booster shot after stepping on a nail.
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actually, I went right ahead and did get it done yesterday. 15 minutes, no charge so why wait? I do not know what is in the soil since I do about 30 odd properties and cuts/scrapes happen. I posted this just because it seems relevant to gardeners hereabouts. :) john
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