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Australia’s NSW state reports 1st death from tetanus in 30 years

Australia’s NSW state reports 1st death from tetanus in 30 years

By Islamuddin Sajid


ANKARA (AA) – Australia's New South Wales (NSW) state on Thursday confirmed its first death from tetanus in 30 years, local authorities said.

Health authorities in NSW – Australia's most populous state which includes Sydney – said three cases of tetanus have so far been reported this year.

"Sadly, NSW Health can confirm a woman in her 80s from Sydney died on 1 April from tetanus. NSW Health expresses its sincere condolences to her loved ones," said the NSW Health in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

"This death follows two other notifications of tetanus reported in NSW this year, a woman in her 80s, also from Sydney, and a woman in her 70s from Northern NSW. These are the first tetanus cases reported in NSW since 2019, and the death is the first due to tetanus since 1993," it added.

Tetanus, sometimes called lockjaw, is a disease caused by a bacteria found in soil. The bacteria can enter wounds and produce a toxin that attacks a person's nervous system. The disease does not spread from person to person.

NSW health officials urged the local residents, particularly older Australians, to ensure that they get their tetanus jabs as among the reported cases is a woman who got a shot more than 30 years ago, while the remaining two had no record of tetanus vaccination.

In all three cases, tetanus was acquired via a minor leg wound that was contaminated by garden soil, said the NSW Health.

Dr. Christine Selvey, director of communicable diseases in NSW Health, said in Australia, the disease mostly occurs in older people, usually women, who are inadequately immunized.

"Tetanus is a rare, but potentially fatal disease. Vaccination is the best protection against tetanus," she added.

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