Disease Immunization and Facts Page ContentWhat Is It?Tetanus (Lockjaw) is a rare but severe disease that causes muscle contractions which can lead to breathing problems and even death. Tetanus can occur if contaminated soil enters cuts or wounds, such as a burn.Diphtheria is a disease of the respiratory passages, transmitted from person-to-person, which may cause severe heart disease. In the developing world, diphtheria is sometimes spread via unpasteurized milk.Polio is a widespread disease in the developing world outside North and South America, which may result in paralysis. Polio is transmitted primarily through food or water contaminated with feces.Prevention TipsYou should have your first immunization series against tetanus, diphtheria and polio during childhood. If you're traveling with infants and children, you should discuss their immunization needs, especially if traveling for extended periods of time, which might interrupt your child's normal immunization schedule.Available ImmunizationsA booster dose against tetanus and diphtheria is recommended every 10 years, whether traveling abroad or not.If you have not received the complete primary series, consult your health care professional about completing it.Please consult your travel clinic physician to determine which vaccines are appropriate for you.