Tetanus is an infectious disease caused by contamination of wounds from the bacteria Clostridium tetani, or the spores they produce that live in the soil, and animal feces. Tetanus occurs when a wound becomes contaminated with Clostridium tetani bacterial spores. Infection follows when spores become activated and discharge a toxin that affects the muscles. Tetanus spores are found throughout the environment, usually in soil, dust, and animal waste. That is why it cannot be eradicated. Usually deep wounds are more potential for infection with tetanus. It is not transmitted from person to person.
The majority of all adult types of tetanus cases can be prevented by active immunization. Active Vaccination is recommended for travellers as anyone can get injured with open wounds during any trip. As children, we take the tetanus vaccine for the last time at the age of 5 or 6 so technically we are not well protected after the age of 15.
You can either take a plain tetanus vaccine or a combination of tetanus, diphtheria, polio, whooping cough and polio (TdaP). It gives protection for 10 yrs.
Pregnancy is not considered a contraindication for TdaP or a Tetanus vaccine.
It is strongly recommended that people take the vaccine before travel.