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The Latest: Unvaccinated Oregon boy had ‘severe’ tetanus

March 9, 2019
FILE - In this May 27, 2013 file photo a needle with tetanus vaccine is prepared by a nurse practitioner on a tornado ravaged street in Moore, Okla. An unvaccinated 6-year-old Oregon boy was hospitalized for two months for tetanus and almost died of the bacterial illness after getting a deep laceration on his forehead while playing on a farm, according to a case study published Friday, March 8, 2019 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki,File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on an unvaccinated Oregon boy who almost died of tetanus (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

An unvaccinated Oregon boy who spent eight weeks in intensive care and almost died after contracting tetanus was cared for by a medical team of more than 100 people.

Dr. Carl Eriksson, a pediatric critical care specialist at Oregon Health & Science University, said at a news conference Friday that without medical care, the child would have died.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a case study on the 6-year-old boy’s medical ordeal on Friday.

The 2017 case is the first case of pediatric tetanus in Oregon in more than 30 years because of widespread childhood immunization against it began in the 1940s.

Dr. Judith Guzman-Cottrill, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at OHSU, says she had never before seen a case of tetanus and never expected to see one in her career.

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10:45 a.m.

An unvaccinated 6-year-old Oregon boy was hospitalized for two months for tetanus and almost died after getting cut while playing on a farm.

A medical paper published Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention details the 2017 case, which was the first pediatric tetanus case in the state in more than 30 years.

The doctors from Oregon Health & Science University who treated the boy say he was on a ventilator for 44 days and stayed in a darkened room to reduce stimulation that triggered his muscle spasms.

His parents declined a second dose of the tetanus vaccine for their son after he had recovered.

Lawmakers in Oregon and Washington are considering bills to end non-medical exemptions for childhood vaccines due to a Pacific Northwest measles outbreak.

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