Public Health Agency of Canada
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Notifiable Diseases On-Line

Tetanus

Tetanus is caused by a bacteria. It is often a fatal disease which affects all age groups. Tetanus spores are found in the intestines of animals and in the soil and fomites contaminated by their faeces. A person infected with the tetanus bacteria experiences painful muscle contractions that begin in the neck (hence the popular name "lockjaw") and then continue down to involve the muscles of the torso. Since 1980, only 5 deaths have been reported in Canada. Tetanus can be prevented by a vaccine. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends primary vaccination of all children at 2, 4, 6, and 18 months followed by booster doses at 4 to 6 years of age and every ten years after that (NACI-Recommended Childhood Vaccination Schedule, Canada).

For more information about the disease and data limitations click here.

Number of Reported Cases, Canada, 1995 to 2004

Number of Reported Cases of Tetanus, Canada, 1995 - 2004

 

Year Number of Cases
1995 7
1996 3
1997 4
1998 2
1999 6
2000 4
2001 8
2002 1
2003 1
2004 2
  • 8 cases reported in 2001 (Alberta 1, British Columbia 4, Ontario 3); 1 case age 30-39, 2 cases age 40-59, 5 cases age 60+.
  • 1 case reported in 2002 (Ontario), age 60+.
  • 1 case reported in 2003 (Manitoba), age 60+.
  • 2 cases reported in 2004 (Quebec), 1 case age 30-39, 1 case age 60+.