A child gets vaccination (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Doctors from HCM City’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases advised people to vaccinate against tetanus as the hospital admitted 134 patients with the disease in the first four months of this year, accounting for nearly 50 percent of last year’s total.

Nguyen Van Ban, 60, from the south central coastal province of Binh Thuan, was hospitalised at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases due to tetanus.

Ban’s thumb was hit by a hammer while working as a bricklayer. He felt pain and went to a drug store near his house to buy medicine to reduce it.

Several days later, he had symptoms such as jaw cramping and trouble swallowing.

His family thought he got stroke and brought him to a practitioner of traditional medicine for acupuncture.

However, his health became worse and worse. He was hospitalised and then diagnosed with tetanus.

Dr Nguyen Thanh Phong of the hospital’s infectious diseases department, said that all the patients with tetanus did not vaccinate against the disease during their childhoods.

Most of them are at working age, which is the high risk time to get tetanus because it is easy to get spores of tetanus in the body through broken skin or injuries caused by an object puncturing skin such as a nail or needles, Phong said.

The hospital’s recent study showed that around 20 percent to 25 percent of the hospital’s total patients contracted the disease without an identifiable injury, he said.

Phong said that tetanus can threaten life, especially patients with other diseases, such as myocardial ischemia which occurs when blood flow to heart is reduced, preventing it from receiving enough oxygen.

Last year, tetanus killed seven patients at the hospital. -VNA