Cases of Whoop­ing Cough Reaches High­est Level in 50 Years

Wellness Update - - Contents -

Cases of per­tus­sis, also known as whoop­ing cough, are on the rise in the U.S., re­cently reach­ing their high­est level in 50 years. The disease can be se­ri­ous or even fatal to new­borns that haven’t re­ceived vac­ci­na­tions. Ef­fec­tive vac­cines against per­tus­sis have been avail­able for years, but vac­cine pro­tec­tion can wear off over time. A new Univer­sity of Michi­gan poll shows 61 per­cent of adults say they don’t know when they were last vac­ci­nated against per­tus­sis, which could mean they might be un­wit­tingly ex­pos­ing vul­ner­a­ble ba­bies to the disease. Only 20 per­cent of adults re­ported they re­ceived the per­tus­sis vac­cine less than 10 years ago (the rec­om­mended time frame) and 19 per­cent said they were vac­ci­nated more than 10 years ago. “Per­tus­sis is a pre­ventable disease,” says Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., di­rec­tor of the C.S. Mott Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Na­tional Poll on Chil­dren’s Health. “But many adults may think their childhood vac­ci­na­tions still are pro­tect­ing them against per­tus­sis. Find­ings from this poll show few adults have re­ceived a booster shot within the rec­om­mended 10-year time frame and in fact, two-thirds told us they were not aware of their vac­ci­na­tion sta­tus.” Per­tus­sis eas­ily spreads within house­holds, day care fa­cil­i­ties, schools and neigh­bor­hoods and is most of­ten se­ri­ous in in­fants and young chil­dren. The ma­jor­ity of deaths from per­tus­sis oc­cur in chil­dren less than 3 months old. Per­tus­sis vac­cines are rec­om­mended for teens and adults (known as the “Tdap” vac­cine), in­clud­ing

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