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Immunization, or vaccination, is a way of creating immunity to certain diseases by using small amounts of a killed or weakened microorganism that causes the particular disease.
Immunization shots are important for adults as well as for children. They protect against things like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).
Your immune system helps your body fight germs by producing substances to combat them. Once it does, the immune system "remembers" the germ and can fight it again. Vaccines contain germs that have been killed or weakened. When given to a healthy person, the vaccine triggers the immune system to respond and thus build immunity.
Flu is a respiratory infection caused by a number of viruses. The viruses pass through the air and enter your body through your nose or mouth. The flu can be serious or even deadly for elderly people, newborn babies and people with certain chronic illnesses.
Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and are worse than those of the common cold. They may include:
The main way to keep from getting the flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine. If you get the flu, your health care provider may prescribe medicine to help your body fight the infection and lessen symptoms.
Tetanus is a serious illness caused by tetanus bacteria. The bacteria live in soil, saliva, dust and manure. The bacteria usually enter the body through a deep cut, like those you might get from cutting yourself with a knife or stepping on a nail.
The infection causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw, which makes it impossible to open your mouth or swallow. If this happens, you could die of suffocation.
If you get tetanus, there is usually a long course of treatment. The tetanus vaccine can prevent tetanus but its protection does not last forever. Adults should get a tetanus shot, or booster, every 10 years. If you get a bad cut or burn, see your doctor, you may need a booster.
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Primary Care of Southwest Georgia-Blakely is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n)