CDC: Unvaccinated boy diagnosed with tetanus, hospitalized almost 2 months

Unvaccinated Oregon Boy Contracts Tetanus, Spends Two Months In hospital For Over $800K In Medical Treatments

Unvaccinated Oregon Boy Contracts Tetanus, Spends Two Months In hospital For Over $800K In Medical Treatments

This is the first case of tetanus in an OR child in more than 30 years, the doctors noted.

According to a newly released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, a six-year-old OR boy was hospitalized for 57 days following a diagnosis of tetanus.

The child was playing on a farm when he cut his head on something, the report said. Following the incident, the laceration was "cleaned and sutured at home". Almost a week later, he was experiencing symptoms consistent with tetanus, including jaw clenching, muscle spasms, "generalized spasticity" and arching of the back and neck.

The young boy went through a severe, life-threatening illness. Tetanus immune globulin provides immediate, short-term relief of symptoms, HealthLink BC reports.

The doctors diagnosed the boy with tetanus and prescribed him to stay in the hospital for about eight weeks.

Upon admission, the boy was still conscious and asked for water, but the "lockjaw" of tetanus rendered him unable to open his mouth.

"This is an very bad disease, but ... we have had a mechanism to completely prevent it, and the reason that we have virtually no cases anymore in the United States is because we vaccinate, literally, everyone", Schaffer added. His back and neck muscles arched and spasmed. His blood pressure shot up, and he became feverish. He was still undergoing spasms, so he was sedated, placed on a ventilator to help him breathe, and a tube was placed in his trachea. Three days later, he walked 20 feet with assistance.

On day 57, he was transferred to a rehabilitation centre for 17 days.

In all, the boy's medical charges in the hospital amounted to $811,929 - which did not include the cost of being airlifted to the hospital or of inpatient rehabilitation, according to the CDC. And it took another month after his rehab before he was back to his old activities, including running and riding a bike.

Unvaccinated Oregon Boy Contracts Tetanus, Spends Two Months In hospital For Over $800K In Medical Treatments

Case study co-author Dr. Carl Eriksson, an assistant professor of pediatric critical care at Oregon Health & Science University, who was involved in the boy's treatment, wrote in an email to TIME that severe tetanus cases are very rare in the USA, where vaccination effectively prevents such conditions.

"This illness could have been prevented with five doses of the tetanus vaccine, for $150", she adds.

A nurse holds a tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccine in 2016.

While doctors gave the boy an emergency dose of tetanus vaccine when he was brought to the hospital, his parents elected not to give him a second dose, or any other recommended vaccinations, before their child left inpatient care.

Tetanus is an acute neuromuscular disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani.

"I never thought I would see a case of severe tetanus in the United States", Guzman-Cottrill told Stat. Tetanus is preventable with a tetanus vaccine, and widespread immunization has lead to a 95% decline in the number of tetanus cases in the U.S. since the 1940s, according to the CDC. A child can get tetanus again and again if he's unvaccinated, and doesn't get booster shots over time.

The child survived but it cost well over $800,000, according to the article.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, serious side effects from any vaccine are extremely rare. According to the World Health Organisation, "vaccine hesitancy" is one of the top 10 threats to global health this year.