Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (Whopping Cough) Vaccine

The DPT vaccine is a safe and effective combined vaccine.

It protects against 3 serious illnesses:

  • Diphtheria: a serious infection of the throat that can block the airway and cause severe breathing problems
  • Tetanus (lockjaw): a nerve disease that can happen at any age, caused by toxin-producing bacteria contaminating a wound
  • Pertussis (whooping cough): a respiratory illness with cold-like symptoms that lead to severe coughing (the “whooping” sound happens when a child breathes in deeply after a severe coughing fit). Serious complications can affect children under 1 year old, and those younger than 6 months old are especially at risk. Teens and adults with a lasting cough might have pertussis and not realize it, and could pass it to vulnerable infants.

When children should have their DtaP Vaccine? 

DTaP immunizations are given as a series of 5 injections at ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15–18 months
  • 4–6 years

A vaccine called Tdap (the booster shot) should be given at ages 11 to 12, and to older teens and adults who haven’t yet had a booster with pertussis coverage. (This is especially important for adults who will be around newborn babies, such as grandparents or other caregivers.) Then, boosters are recommended every 10 years with either Tdap or Td (only tetanus and diphtheria).

Pregnant women should get the Tdap vaccine in the second half of each pregnancy, even if they’ve been vaccinated in the past. People who get a deep cut or severe burn need to get a dose of Tdap or Td to prevent tetanus infection.

How long does the DTP vaccinations last?

The DTP vaccine is very effective and protects for up to 10 years.

Travel & Immunisation Clinic

Signs and symptoms

Those who have picked up the cholera bacteria don’t always have symptoms, but these are some of the typical symptoms you should expect:

• Severe, watery diarrhoea

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Stomach cramps

Cholera symptoms can occur after just after a few hours, but generally develop within a few days of picking up the infection. If untreated, dehydration from severe diarrhoea and vomiting can quickly take effect, causing the body to go into shock because of a big drop in blood pressure.

Prevention

If you are travelling to a country known to be affected by cholera, here are a few ways you can help protect yourself:

• Only drink boiled or sealed bottled water

• Avoid ice in your drinks and ice creams

• Wash (in safe water) or peel uncooked fruit and vegetables

• Avoid shellfish, seafood and salads

Practice good personal hygiene measures – always wash your hands in safe water before eating and visiting the bathroom

Vaccination

The risk to most travellers is very low and vaccination is usually only recommended in the following circumstances:

• Volunteers/aid workers/medical personnel in disaster relief situations where cholera outbreaks are likely

• Those travelling to work in slums/refugee camps or areas affected by natural disasters

• Those travelling to countries experienacing cholera outbreaks and where care with food and water is difficult or not possible

The drinkable cholera vaccine is given in two or three (depending on age) separate doses, taken from one to up to six weeks apart and completed at least a week before travelling.

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