Routine Vaccinations

D&M provides a high level of care and understanding when it comes to the standard vaccinations we all need.

Diphtheria & Tetanus

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a disease of the respiratory system that is spread by bacteria. The bacteria infect the airways and the throat. Diphtheria can cause complications including death in some people and therefore it is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have diphtheria.

How is diphtheria transmitted?

Diphtheria is spread by coughing and sneezing and is easily spread from person to person.

What are the symptoms of diphtheria?

The bacteria and its toxin that cause diphtheria infect the airways and throat leading to symptoms such as sore throat, fever and swollen glands in the neck. In more serious cases, infection can cause inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or may cause numbness and pain in the nerves in your arms and legs (peripheral neuropathy).

How long does it take for symptoms of diphtheria to develop?

Symptoms of diphtheria usually develop 2 to 5 days after exposure.

What is Tetanus?

Tetanus is an infection that is caused by the spores of bacteria. Tetanus causes serious symptoms and complications, particularly to the nervous system. If you suspect you have tetanus you should seek medical attention immediately.

How is tetanus transmitted?

Tetanus is caused by a bacterial spore that enters the body through an cut in in the skin. Tetanus spores are found in dust, dirt, and manure and are therefore ubiquitous in nature. Tetanus can be spread by stepping on sharp objects, such as a rusty nail, however it can also be spread by wounds that are less deep and severe. Unlike many other illnesses, tetanus is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person.

What are the symptoms of tetanus?

Infection with tetanus causes dysfunction of the nervous system and leads to muscle spasm, stiffness of the jaw (lockjaw), and can later lead to paralysis and death. Due to these serious risks, It is important to seek immediate attention if you are cut and are not certain if your vaccination against tetanus is up to date.

How long does it take for symptoms of tetanus to develop?

Symptoms develop anywhere between 3 days and 4 or more weeks after experiencing a wound.


• It is recommended that everyone is vaccinated against tetanus and diphtheria, and therefore it is not just recommended for travelers.
• Most Canadians have been vaccinated against tetanus and diphtheria in childhood. If you have not been vaccinated for tetanus and diptheria, you will require a series of 3 vaccines administered over 6 to 12 months.
• Individuals who were vaccinated previously require a single booster dose of combination vaccine for tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years.


What is polio?

Polio is a contagious disease that is spread by the poliovirus. Polio can cause crippling complications and vaccination is thereby recommended for all Canadians.

How is polio transmitted?

Polio is spread through the mouth, usually by food or water that is contaminated with feces. Canada is currently polio free due to vaccination, however, polio still exists in other parts of the world. As the risk for polio still exists in other parts of the world, it is important that Canadians continue to be vaccinated to protect ourselves and future generations from this crippling disease.

What are the symptoms of polio?

The symptoms of polio are fever, nausea, aching muscles, fatigue, loss of appetite, and stiff neck or back. In less than 1 in 100 people, the person’s nervous system will be damaged and can cause muscles to be paralyzed, including the muscles involved in breathing.

How long does it take for symptoms of polio to develop?

Symptoms develop 1 to 2 weeks after contact with the virus.


• Most Canadians are vaccinated against polio starting as infants (4 doses) and a booster is given between the ages of 4 and 6 years.
• The risk for polio still exists in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. If you are traveling to one of these areas, and you are 18 years of age or older, you should consider 1 booster dose before traveling.

Prevention Strategies

As the polio virus is spread by food and water contaminated with feces, food and water safety recommendations should be followed. Food and water recommendations include:
• Drink bottled beverages or boiled water if you are unsure of the water sanitation in your area of travel.
• Undercooked foods, salads and raw fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled should be avoided if there is concern they were not washed with clean drinking water.
• It is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and clean water or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.