An unvaccinated Oregon boy has become the state’s first pediatric case of tetanus in more than 30 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 6 year old, who had received no immunizations, was hospitalized for nearly two months in 2017, costing his family a whopping $800,000 in medical bills. Six days after cutting his forehead while playing outside on a farm, the boy reportedly had episodes of crying, jaw-clenching, involuntary muscle spasms, and breathing difficulties. He was flown to a pediatric medical center and, after doctors suspected he had tetanus, was given one dose of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTaP). The news comes as the debate over vaccine exemptions continues in the Oregon House of Representatives, where a bill is under consideration that would limit vaccine exemptions for children attending public schools.
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