Vaccine Update – Whooping Cough Epidemic
Just a quick update between regularly scheduled programming.
I wrote a blog some time ago about vaccines, and the importance of getting them. All of them.
So what is so darn important to get me up early on a friday morning to write a new blog?
I’m glad I asked!
We have had an ever-growing number of cases of Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough. The number of cases in the Chicagoland area was so high last year that all of us physicians got a little notice that said we should be on the “lookout” for Pertussis and that any cough which lasted more than 21 days (in an adult) had about a 50-50 chance of being caused by the Pertussis bacteria. Sure enough, I saw about a dozen cases last year and several more this year. The local high school had to close up for a few days last year because of the hundreds of cases of Whooping Cough found there.
So why this sudden blog entry?
California is experiencing a Whooping Cough epidemic, even as I type. Thousands of cases. Whooping Cough, for an adult, is a nuisance illness that causes a dry hacky cough for about a month or more. In Children, it can lead to airway compromise and death. California is the “Home Base” for many parents who refuse to vaccinate their children for fear of side effects, most of them extraordinarily rare (and far far less dangerous than the illnesses they protect against) or because of the completely unfounded fear that they may cause autism.
The CDC already advised that we re-vaccinate all adults for Whooping Cough at the same time we re-vaccinate for Tetanus, every 10 years. The very best defense for the children is to have a population of completely immune people around them. Please go see your doctor and request the ADACEL vaccine if you have not been vaccinated against Tetanus in the last 10 years. This combined adult vaccine will immunize you for both Tetanus and Pertussis.
I said it once, and I will say it again. Get your children vaccinated. There is no good medical argument against it. Vaccines save lives and are very safe.
If you have a cough that lasts more than 21 days, see your physician right away (why did you wait 21 days in the first place??). There are antibiotics to kill Pertussis. Piece of cake.
There is a link to the article about the California outbreak of pertussis at the bottom of this blog.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming!