A CHILD has contracted tetanus for the first time since it became a notifable disease in 1981.
The HSE has issued a stark warning over the dangers of not vaccinating children for the potentially deadly tetanus disease.
Medics at the National University of Ireland Galway reported that the 11-year-old Irish boy contracted the disease after getting a puncture wound to his right foot while playing barefoot outdoors.
The report in the new edition of the 'Irish Medical Journal' states that mortality rates for those who contract tetanus is nearly 50pc.
The boy had not been vaccinated against the disease.
A HSE spokesman said that children not vaccinated for tetanus "risk severe disease and may die as a result of the disease".
There have been only 12 cases of tetanus here since 1981. Two of those people died as a result. But until the case of the 11-year-old boy, the most recent incident was in 2008.
It was reported that the boy spent 17 days in hospital, including nine in its intensive care unit.
The medics report that despite advice and education since the incident, the boy's siblings remain unvaccinated.
A small group of parents still choose not to vaccinate their children for the disease, with the HSE spokesman stating that 96pc of children here at two years of age have received three doses of the tetanus vaccine.