Publicado: Mar, Marcha 12, 2019
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Unvaccinated Oregon boy had 'severe' tetanus

Unvaccinated Oregon boy had 'severe' tetanus

"In contrast, the cost of one DTaP dose is somewhere around $24-$30 a dose, and this illness could have been prevented with five doses of DTaP vaccine".

The six-year-old OR boy contracted tetanus-also called lockjaw-innocently enough.

It began in 2017, when the boy cut his forehead while playing outside. He was not taken to any medical facility, and his would was cleaned and sewn up at home. The average tetanus shot costs around 30 dollars. Potentially deadly tetanus developed six days later. But after six days, he was being treated for tetanus, an enormously painful, sometimes fatal infection that is caused by bacterial spores found in the soil and that is completely preventable with vaccine. Booster doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids are recommended every 10 years throughout life.

"He was really sick and it was really hard to watch", Guzman-Cottrill told Stat News. Seventy people in southwest Washington, a lot of them unvaccinated children, have been diagnosed with the highly contagious viral illness since January 1, as well as a handful of people in Portland, Oregon.

Within a week of cutting his head, the child began to display symptoms of the disease, such as bouts of crying, jaw clenching and involuntary muscle spasms. The parents reached out to medical services when their son had trouble breathing and he was transported to a local pediatric medical center.

Upon admission, the boy was still conscious and asked for water, but the "lockjaw" of tetanus rendered him unable to open his mouth. A tube was placed down his windpipe and he was hooked up to a machine that helped his breathing.

The child remained on a ventilator and a neuromuscular blocker for over a month and spent time "in a darkened room with earplugs and minimal stimulation" as per reports. His fever spiked to nearly 105 degrees (40.5 Celsius), and he developed high blood pressure and a racing heartbeat. Doctors gave him multiple intravenous drugs to control his blood pressure, pain, and muscle spasms.

On day 57, he was released from the hospital and transferred to a rehabilitation center.

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The total bill for his inpatient care was $811,929, Guzman-Cottrill and her colleagues said. And that bill does not include air-transport and rehab costs.

In the 1940s, there were about 500 to 600 cases of tetanus reported in the United States annually, according to the nonprofit Immunization Action Coalition.

Becoming infected with tetanus doesn't make someone immune for life - and a person can be infected multiple times if not vaccinated.

The boy was Oregon's first case of tetanus in nearly 30 years, according to the CDC, citing the Oregon Health Authority.

The same goes for anti-vaxxers, the growing movement of people refusing to vaccinate their kids (despite them receiving the jabs when they were young). "That was an astounding point for me".

Parents often hesitate to get their child vaccinated.

The report, which was written by members of the Oregon Health and Science University Department of Pediatrics and the Oregon Health Authority's Public Health Division, comes after a large measles outbreak in Clark County, Washington, on the Oregon and Washington border.

Extensive use of the vaccine has resulted in a 95 percent drop in tetanus cases and 99 percent decrease in deaths linked to tetanus.

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