Recurrence of tetanus in South Vietnam

Since the beginning of the year, the Tropical Disease Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City admitted cases of tetanus from southern provinces.

Recurrence of tetanus in South Vietnam

The infection cases increased double compared to same period last year. The relapse of tetanus surprised medical workers with severe cases.
One of serious case in the hospital’s Intensive care unit is 62 year old man hailing from Cu Chi District who is being put on ventilator. His wife said he had stepped on a rusty nail while working in the garden.
Though the wound was festering, he applied quick disinfection.
Two weeks later, he had a stiff painful jaw; his relatives rushed him to the local infirmary for emergency treatment where doctors diagnosed him to have tetanus. He was transferred to the Tropical Disease hospital where he fell into coma.
The hospital is treating 25 tetanus patients all in ventilators. Vice Head of the intensive care unit Dr. Duong Bich Thuy said that all patients are taken to the hospital when they are in critical condition. Most of them are elderly people.
For elderly people, those suffering diabetes, and high blood pressure, their resistance is weak; accordingly, their illness will be worse.
Statistically, the hospital admits 250 - 300 tetanus patients annually. In three first months, the number of ill people grew double to 100 inpatients.
Medical workers warned people to inject against the disease. Each vaccine shot is priced at VND200,000 - VND300,000 while treatment cost of a case is VND40 - VND100 million.

By THANH AN - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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