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It took two months and almost a million dollars to save an unvaccinated 6-year-old from Tetanus

A photomicrograph of Clostridium tetani, the bacteria that cause tetanus. Their tennis racket-like appearance is seen when the bar-shaped bacteria begin to become a hard track. Image: CDC A new case report from the Centers for Disease Control released on Thursday highlights the costs of not vaccinating children. It describes an unvaccinated 6-year-old boy's meeting with tetanus and the enormously expensive, two-month effort required to save his life. [19659] Tetanus is caused by the name bacteria Clostridium tetani . More precisely, what happens when the earth's love C. tetani enters your body – usually through an open cut and spews out an extremely powerful toxin. This toxin can quickly paralyze and send the muscles to constant spasms, which begin with the jaw (if you know anything about tetanus, it is enough that it causes lockjaw). These spasms can then spread to the thorax, back and intestine, leading to painful fractures, difficulty breathing and even the complete loss of gut control. It's a brutal disease, one that can take months to fully recover from. Even with treatment, 10 percent of the victims die in the end. Thankfully, we have had a functioning vaccine against tetanus since the 1920s, and vaccination has virtually eliminated the disease in countries with decent care. Most every person in the United States is fully vaccinated against tetanus when they go to school, with the first of five shots happening at the age of 2 (booster shots every ten years later recommended). Unfortunately, this report was not…

A photomicrograph of Clostridium tetani, the bacteria that cause tetanus. Their tennis racket-like appearance is seen when the bar-shaped bacteria begin to become a hard track. Image: CDC

A new case report from the Centers for Disease Control released on Thursday highlights the costs of not vaccinating children. It describes an unvaccinated 6-year-old boy’s meeting with tetanus and the enormously expensive, two-month effort required to save his life. [19659] Tetanus is caused by the name bacteria Clostridium tetani . More precisely, what happens when the earth’s love C. tetani enters your body – usually through an open cut and spews out an extremely powerful toxin. This toxin can quickly paralyze and send the muscles to constant spasms, which begin with the jaw (if you know anything about tetanus, it is enough that it causes lockjaw). These spasms can then spread to the thorax, back and intestine, leading to painful fractures, difficulty breathing and even the complete loss of gut control. It’s a brutal disease, one that can take months to fully recover from. Even with treatment, 10 percent of the victims die in the end.

Thankfully, we have had a functioning vaccine against tetanus since the 1920s, and vaccination has virtually eliminated the disease in countries with decent care. Most every person in the United States is fully vaccinated against tetanus when they go to school, with the first of five shots happening at the age of 2 (booster shots every ten years later recommended). Unfortunately, this report was not the case for the child mentioned above, since his family had chosen not to vaccinate him for any condition.

According to the authors, the 6-year-old boy from Oregon had a pan scraping while playing out on a farm sometime in 2017. The wound was cleaned and sutured at home, but six days later the boy began to experience lockjaw and muscle spasms. He then began to bend his back and neck inadvertently and eventually could barely breathe and demanded that his family seek help.

The boy was airborne to the hospital and couldn’t even drink water because he couldn’t open his mouth. There he received several tetanus shots. He spent the next 47 days in intensive care, needed a ventilator to breathe and constant medication through an IV to control his pain, blood pressure and muscle spasms. Three days later he was able to walk 20 meters with help, but he still needed two weeks of rehab to fully restore the use of bone and body.

Everything said he stopped spending 57 days in the hospital, billing $ 811.929, and it excludes air transport and rehab care. For the context, it is about 72 times the average cost of a hospital stay for a child, according to the research quoted by the authors. And it’s more expensive than childhood diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTaP), which can cost about $ 30 per dose without insurance (the adult boosters are around $ 60).

Doctors say it is the first case of childhood death that has been reported in Oregon for 30 years. Between 2009 and 2015, 197 tetanus cases and 16 deaths were reported in the United States. And some of these rare cases have been even more expensive, with hospital bills for an adult victim reaching over $ 1 million.

The report does not & # 39; t go into why his family was against vaccination in the first place. And lead author Judith Guzman-Cottrill, a pediatrician professor at Oregon Health and Science University, told Gizmodo that she was unable to disclose any family-specific details of the case, including their reasons for waiving. But she noted the case should give an important reminder to get your shots, especially for stubble. This is because the stubble is only spread by direct contact with contaminated surfaces, and not from person to person as the flu. So rely on others to be vaccinated – otherwise known as flock immunity – not protecting you from the bacteria, which is practically everywhere in the soil.

“Thus, routine vaccination for everyone, plus boosters, is very important for disease prevention,” said Guzman-Cottrill Gizmodo.

The story ends happily for the boy. A month later he was back to normal, drove and used his bike again. But it does not seem like lessons learned on his family. Despite the brutal trial and accused of doctors, they once again chose not to vaccinate him for tetanus or other diseases.

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