Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis are serious diseases caused by bacteria. Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds. The Tdap/DTap vaccine can help prevent these diseases. Most children who are vaccinated with these vaccines will be protected throughout childhood. But many more children would get these diseases if we stopped vaccinating.
Tetanus (Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body.
It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in up to 2 out of 10 cases.
Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat.
It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks.
It can lead to pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring spells), brain damage, and death.
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