The clock is ticking for emergency personnel who worked in the floodwaters around Clay County this weekend.
"After exposure to contaminated water, there is a window of 48-72 hours in which a person should be vaccinated if they have not had a Tetanus vaccination within the past five years," Clay County Health Nurse Diane Dierks told The Brazil Times Monday morning. "An open wound makes a person more susceptible to Tetanus. You don't have to get a cut and or scratch while in the water to be in danger, it can enter through a prior wound."
Tetanus, an acute and often fatal disease, is caused by bacteria found inside the intestines and feces of many animals such as horses, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs, and chickens. This bacteria is often found in the water of flooded areas.
The Clay County Health Department will make arrangements for law enforcement officers, volunteer firemen and search and rescue personnel who were exposed, at times for long hours, to the floodwaters to be vaccinated.
Emergency personnel, who need to make a vaccination appointment, may contact Dierks at the Clay County Health Department at 448-9021.
Local residents not current on their Tetanus vaccinations, who had an open wound that was exposed to the floodwaters, should contact their local physician according to state health officials.