Queensland Health has confirmed tetanus booster shots will be made available free of charge to those affected by or cleaning up after ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said many people involved in the massive clean-up may be concerned they may not have adequate protection against tetanus.
“While most Australians have been appropriately vaccinated, we understand some people may be worried,” Dr Young said.
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“That’s why it’s really important for people who haven’t had a tetanus booster to ensure their vaccinations are up to date.”
The shots are available for anyone in flood affected areas.
GP’s will have vaccines provided by Queensland Health, however, locals are being warned there could be a cost for the initial doctor’s consultation.
Dr Young urged those generous volunteers participating in the clean-up effort, as well as those in communities have affected by the floodwaters, to ensure they err on the side of caution.
“If you don’t know if you are up to date, then check with your local health provider,” Dr Young said.
Tetanus is caused by bacteria commonly found soil, dust and manure.
Wounds that favour the growth of tetanus include open fractures, deep penetrating wounds, bites and splinters.
Exposure to these elements will be heightened for people participating in the flood clean-up, along with the risk of cuts and sores from the manual labour involved.
Anyone who sustains injuries that could be contaminated with floodwater or mud should apply first aid and seek medical advice.
For more information you can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).