MANILA--The Department of Health (DOH) has reminded penitents who would be doing self-flagellation or have themselves nailed on the cross for their yearly devotion to ensure that nails and other sharp objects that will be used during the acts are well sterilized to avoid contracting tetanus infection.
"Tetanus can be easily contracted with the use of unsterilized nails or rusty nails," the DOH said in its advisory.
As a precaution, the DOH, through its Semana Santa Health Tips, also reiterated that devotees to ensure that they have their anti-tetanus shots prior to the crucifixion.
Tetanus is a serious condition that causes seizures and severe muscle spasms in the neck, abdomen and limbs, which could lead to bone fractures in the spine and eventual death.
First sign of tetanus infection is fever.
The DOH and the Catholic Church have discouraged the Catholic faithful and devotees to do self-flagellation and crucifixion as a form of sacrifice during the Lenten season.(PNA)