Whooping cough is causing the worst epidemic seen in the United States in more than 50 years, health officials said Thursday, and they’re calling for mass vaccination of adults.
The epidemic has killed nine babies so far and babies are by far the most vulnerable to the disease, also known as pertussis, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The best way to protect them is to vaccinate the adults around them, and to vaccinate pregnant women so their babies are born with some immunity.
“As of today, nationwide nearly 18,000 cases have been reported to the CDC,” the CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat told reporters in a conference call. “That is nearly twice as many as reported last year. We may be on track for a record high pertussis rate this year,” she added.
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There are mentioned a few different reasons why the epidemic is occurring. Anti-vax sentiment is not stressed but the former version of the vaccine did cause concerns for parent with reactions that cause fever and swelling. The MMR vaccine was pointed to as a cause of autism but this has been repeatedly proven to be unfounded. Many adults do not realize that a booster is needed because immunity decreases. See your doctor about getting a booster for pertussis along with a regular tetanus shot. It can save children around you from a terrible illness and perhaps death.