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COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) -
As residents continue to recover from the tornadoes and severe weather, the Northern Kentucky Health Department is offering free tetanus vaccines to those who may need it.
The vaccine will be available for free on a walk-in basis from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Health Department's county health centers:
Boone County Health Center, 7505 Burlington Pike, Florence, Ky.
Campbell County Health Center, 1098 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky.
Grant County Health Center, 234 Barnes Road, Williamstown, Ky.
Kenton County Health Center, 2002 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky.
"When people are involved in clean-up after a disaster, tetanus is typically a risk," said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health. "The bacteria that causes tetanus can be found in the soil. If a person's skin is punctured, perhaps through a cut or scrape, the tetanus bacteria can enter the body and cause infection. While there is a vaccine against tetanus, most adults are not up-to-date on their vaccinations. If you are working among debris and have not had a tetanus vaccination in the last five years, we encourage you to get one. "
Symptoms of tetanus include headache, jaw cramping and muscle spasms. It can cause painful muscle stiffness all over the body, seizures, fever and high blood pressure. Tetanus can also lead to difficulty swallowing. As many as 1 in 5 people affected with tetanus dies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Health Department continues to work with local emergency management officials, the Red Cross and other disaster response agencies to help ensure the health and safety of local residents through inspections of food service establishments and shelters, and surveillance of health care facilities. In addition to offering tetanus vaccination, the Health Department reminds residents of other health concerns in the storm aftermath, including carbon monoxide poisoning, food safety and power tool safety.
When operating chain saws and other equipment, be sure you are familiar with the device and its safety features before using. Only use power tools when you are alert, well-rested and healthy. Safety glasses, hearing protection and gloves should be worn when operating.
Never use a charcoal grill, camp stoves, generators, or other gasoline, kerosene, or charcoal burning device indoors.
Refrigerated foods should be disposed of after four hours without electricity unless the food has been placed in a cooler with ice.
Open refrigerators and freezers only when necessary. Frozen foods in unopened freezers can generally maintain safe temperatures for up to 24 hours if the freezer is half-full and up to 48 hours if completely full.
A food thermometer can be used to determine the temperature of food items to be sure they are safe. Perishable food that is above 41 degrees Farenheit should be discarded.
When in doubt, dispose of perishable foods to prevent illness.