We are starting to see whooping cough (Pertussis) more often, especially in Boulder County. The number of cases in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2000. The childhood vaccine (DTaP) is supposed to limit this infection in the community, but instead, new cases of this dangerous infection are skyrocketing, especially among preteens and teenagers.
Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that causes such severe coughing (especially at night) that children can vomit and in some people it can break a rib. It sometimes lives up to its nickname of the 100-day cough. It spreads as easily as a cold and if spread to infants, can be fatal.
Adults and teens are the main carriers because even if children did get their immunization, the effect of the vaccine wanes around the age of 10-12 yrs.
The FDA has approved a new booster shot (Boostrix) to renew adolescents’ protection against Pertussis. It will be included in their 10 year Tetanus shot which teens should be getting between age 10-18 years of age. A booster for adults is expected to come out soon.
In the meantime, if you have a persistent cough that awakens you at night, ask your practitioner about being tested for Pertussis.
It will help all of us sleep better at night!
Adult Whooping Cough Cases May Hit 1 Million: “A new study suggests that as many as 1 million cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, could be prevented each year by routinely vaccinating teens and adults against the highly infectious respiratory disease.”
(Via WebMD Health Headlines.)