GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Gardening is a popular activity here in the valley, but do you know what's lurking in your garden? Bacteria in your soil may cause a potentially deadly disease- putting you and your family at risk.
Tetanus is a serious disease that cannot be transferred from person to person, but it is caused by exposure to a toxin made by bacteria, commonly found in soil. If that toxin enters a wound it can impair the nervous system; causing muscle pain and spasms commonly known as lockjaw.
The Mesa County Health Department recommends a Tetanus vaccine for adults and children in order to stay safe.
"Tetanus is a bacteria that is commonly found in soil or dust or even manure that enters the body. It can enter the body through a break in the skin so it's really important for folks to get a Tetanus vaccine," said Tamara Capp of the health department.
It may take weeks before some of the Tetanus symptoms show up, but some things to look out for are stiffness of the jaw and neck, difficulty swallowing and severe muscle spasms all over the body.
The Mesa County Health Department offers the the T-Dap vaccine which is a combination of Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis, protecting against all three diseases.
The T-Dap vaccine is recommended for preteens ages 11 or 12 years, but can be administered as early as age seven and adults should get vaccinated every 10 years.
Health department officials say the most important thing anyone can do is to make sure you stay current on your vaccinations.