Diphtheria is a bacterial disease usually spread through coughs and sneezes and can cause difficulties in breathing. At risk groups include unimmunized children and older adults who were not vaccinated as children. Planning to travel during the warmer months of the year along with the diphtheria vaccination are both ways of avoiding contracting the disease.
Tetanus is a bacterial infection which is introduced to the body via puncture wounds and burns. The most common symptom of tetanus is lock-jaw shortly followed by muscle spasms which may cause difficulty swallowing and in severe cases difficulty breathing. Two main ways of avoiding contracting tetanus are immunisation and avoiding injury.
Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious acute viral infection and is a particular threat to children. Poor sanitation is a key factor in the spread of the disease. Symptoms may take up to 20 days and can include fever, headaches, vomiting, fatigue, chest pains, and stiffness in the neck. In severe cases paralysis of the legs may occur and immobilisation of respiratory muscles can lead to death.
The DTP vaccination is usually part of the childhood immunisation programme in the UK and is required generally every 10 years.
Young adults may have already received this vaccination between the ages of 13-18.