Friday, October 26, 2012

Pertussis (whooping cough)

     The number of cases of pertussis (whooping cough) are on the rise in the United States. There have been over 4000 cases in the State of Washington (when the usual number would be about 50 cases by this time in the year). The vaccine to protect against whooping cough is good but not perfect. The sad thing is that many children are going unprotected because their parents are deferring or declining the vaccine. This has left many children vulnerable to the illness. There have been at least 16 deaths in the United States this year. This number is going to continue to rise if a larger number of children and adults are not vaccinated.
     There is a new recommendation that all pregnant women should receive the vaccine (DTaP) in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. This helps protect mom and infant. The infant then is better protected while they themselves receive the vaccine and develop better immunity. Here is the CDC information.

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