Published: Sun, March 10, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Unvaccinated Oregon boy had 'severe' tetanus

Unvaccinated Oregon boy had 'severe' tetanus

Luckily, most children today are vaccinated against tetanus, and infections are extremely rare: According to the CDC report, routine vaccination and the use of immune globulin to treat wounds has led to a 95% reduction in tetanus cases and a 99% reduction in tetanus-related deaths since the 1940s.

Rushed to the hospital where even the doctors were surprised to diagnose this case after so many years, 30 years to be more precise according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The boy, who allegedly never received a tetanus vaccination, reportedly cut his head "while playing outdoors on a farm". He also had his wound cleaned and treated again, the CDC said.

Six days later the boy started crying, experiencing involuntary spasms in his upper arms and his jaw clenching. Tetanus can interfere with your ability to breathe and can threaten your life.

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.

During his time at the hospital, the boy requested water but couldn't drink it because of his lockjaw. Physicians sedated and intubated him because the spasms of his diaphragm and larynx were causing breathing problems. A family paid almost a million dollars in medical bills after an unvaccinated boy from OR suffered from Tetanus.

He was also placed in a dark room with ear plugs, which helped reduce the intensity of his spasms. He also developed opisthotonus, or the arching of the neck and back. His blood pressure shot up, and he became feverish. On day 47, he was transferred to the intermediate care unit.

Anti-vax Oregano boy witnesses a near death experience the first ever tetanus infection case
Oregano boy witnesses a near death experienceSource NY Daily News

On day 54, his tracheostomy was removed. The inpatient charges totaled $811,929 (excluding air transportation, inpatient rehabilitation, and ambulatory follow-up costs). On day 44 of his hospital stay, he came off the ventilator and tolerated drinking clear liquids. One month after his rehab concluded, he was able to return to normal activities "including running and bicycling", his doctors wrote. "The patient was in the intensive care unit, in critical condition, for over six weeks", Dr. Judith Guzman-Cottrill said. DTaP is the typical vaccine given to kids in five doses, all before the child is 6 years old.

The child was given an emergency dose of the tetanus vaccine, but his parents declined to give him a second dose, or any other vaccinations.

Tetanus is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which is found in soil and produces a toxin that causes painful muscle contractions. The signs and symptoms of the infection manifest about three to 21 days after it has entered the body. Between 2009 and 2015, there were only 197 cases of tetanus.

"Most parents and guardians know that immunisation is still the best way to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough and measles".

The report states the costs for the child's inpatient care totaled more than $800,000.

On the topic of vaccinations, the World Health Organisation states: "Vaccine hesitancy - the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines - threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases".

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