> Vaccination against diphtheria and tetanus

Cos’è la difterite

The diphtheria is a disease that is contagious caused by a bacterium that is transmitted from person to person via the secretions from the nose and throat of infected persons.

The bacteria usually localizes in the nose and throat and produces a toxin that through the blood può reach the heart, nervous system and kidneys, causing serious damage.

The disease manifests itself in the majority of cases with sore throat and laryngitis, where it forms a thick membrane that può get to block completely the airways and cause choking.

The action of the toxin on other organs and cause rather severe complications to the load of the heart (myocarditis) and of the muscles (paralysis). Antibiotics, while killing the germ, are not effective in combating the toxin.

The only therapy that you can use to counteract the action is constituted by the administration of antibodies against the toxin (immunoglobulins). Despite the therapy, the diphtheria is fatal in 5-10 of cases. the

Cos’è tetanus?

The tetanus is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium that is commonly found in the soil. The tetanus is not transmitted from person to person but you canò contract ferendosi or pungendosi with contaminated objects.

Are especially dangerous deep wounds, but we canò also infect through small wounds. The bacterium produces a toxin that affects the nervous system and cause a contraction general muscles, up to the respiratory failure.

As for the diphtheria, antibiotics kill the bacteria but are not effective against the toxin, whose action può be controlled using the tetanus immunoglobulin (antibodies against the tetanus toxin).

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tetanus is fatal in about 50 of cases. the

How often are the diphtheria and tetanus in Italy?

The diphtheria was a disease very frequent in Italy and at the beginning of the ’60s there were about 6,000 cases each year. Thanks to the extensive use of vaccination, the disease is now rare: from 1990 to 2003 were reported a total of only 4 cases, of which the last in 1995.

Go toò recalled that diphtheria is a disease that is still present in many parts of the world where vaccinations are inadequate; for example, in some countries of Eastern Europe, è recently requires the uìcated a large outbreak with approximately 50,000 reported cases in 1995, and still there are people who continue to get sick.

As for diphtheria, the number of patients of tetanus in Italy is dramatically decreased with the introduction of vaccination. In spite of this, forò, persons not vaccinated or vaccinated improperly continue to get sick.

On average, between 2000 and 2003, in Italy has been notified of 76 cases of tetanus each year, especially in the elderly. the

What vaccine is used against diphtheria and tetanus)?

Both the vaccine antidifterite that antitetanico contain toxins inactivated (anatossine).

In Italy the vaccination antidifterite is compulsory for all children from 1939, while the anti-tetanus is mandatory since 1968. For both vaccinations, the national calendar includes 3 doses in the first year of life (in the 3°. 5° 11°-13° month) followed by two calls respectively to 5-6 years and between 11 and 15 years.

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Then, to be sure that the protection can last the entire life is well, however, to make booster doses every 10 years (at 25, 35, and così on).

The vaccines against diphtheria are available both in the formulation, pediatric and adult. The formulation for the pediatric has a content of anatoxin greater than the drawing-adult and is used in the first year of life and for the booster at 5-6 years. The formulation an adult, however, is used for the booster doses beyond 6 years.

From 1998 to the present were introduced in the market combined products of four or more components, where the vaccine antidifterico to formulation pediatric è associated with the vaccine antitetanico, antipertussis, Hib, IPV, and HBV.

The most frequently used products in the country for the vaccination of newborns against diphtheria and tetanus are currently the esavalenti, combining all the vaccines mentioned above.

For booster doses for adolescents and for adults are available combined vaccines that combine the component tetanus, the vaccine antidifterite to the formulation of adult and antipertussis. the

What are the risks of the vaccination?

The vaccination può to cause fever or pain and redness in the injection site. These are symptoms of short duration, which resolve on their own.

severe allergic reactions to vaccination are outstanding.

In such cases, the vaccination could notò be done?

The vaccination should be temporarily postponed in case of acute illness is important.

Who has had a severe allergic reaction (anafìlassi) to the vaccine, should not receive subsequent doses.

in Addition, vaccination is contraindicated in case of severe allergic reaction (anafìlassi) to a component of the vaccine.

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the Municipality of Rome – Department for Policies for the Promotion of the Child and the Family – Department XVI

Page updated on 31/5/2006