Are You Going To Die From Whooping Cough?

coughs and sneezes.jpg
If you have been following the news, you are probably aware of the whooping cough outbreak, and probably wonder why there is an outbreak in the first place, considering there's been a vaccine for the disease for some 70 years.

But you are probably also wondering: WTF is whooping cough and is it going to kill me?

Well, we've got some answers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the technical name for whooping cough is pertussis.

The malady causes an "uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breathes which result in a 'whooping' sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age."

It's caused by bacteria, one Bordetella pertussis, which attach to the hairs lining the inside of the respiratory system. This causes inflammation, prompting coughing. The germs get spread by close contact, such as being around other people who are coughing and sneezing who have the disease.

Whooping cough is most dangerous for infants, as more than half of infants who contract it have to be hospitalized. In small babies, whooping cough is often manifested as "apnea" -- AKA a "pause in breathing."

Other symptoms include runny nose and low-grade fever. If you get whooping cough, you are also at greater risk of contracting other respiratory infections.

Right now, the Washington Post notes, we seem to be in the midst of the worst outbreak in 50 years, with 18,000 cases in 2012, nine of which were fatal.

The upswing is most prominent in Washington, where there's been a 13-fold increase in cases compared to last year, prompting state health authorities to declare an epidemic this spring.

In New York, whooping cough cases have tripled compared to 2011, with 1,288 cases reported in the state. In the City, there have been 187 cases and 333 on Long Island, according to The Associated Press.

The best way not to get whooping cough is to get vaccinated.

And that's also one of the problems. Though U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer has pushed for free vaccinations, that might not be enough (though it's def a step in the right direction.)

Why?

For starters, the vaccine might not work flawlessly.

Though the current version does not cause the same nasty side effects as earlier formulas, the WashPo notes that it's not quite as effective as the pre-1990s one

Also, a lot of people refuse immunizations even if they CAN access them.

Explains Sarah Kliff:

"Because no immunization is 100% effective, plus the fact that some people CAN'T receive immunizations, 85-95 percent of the population needs to be immunized to protect all of us. When too many people fail to immunize their children against preventable diseases, those viruses and bacteria are able to break through growing holes in the herd and cause worse and worse outbreaks. That is definitely what we are seeing now with pertussis. But, it has also happened with measles and mumps."

Long story short, whooping cough is dangerous -- especially to babies and kids -- and we're in the midst of an outbreak.

Though this likely won't result in some 28 Days Later (or Outbreak ) scenario, get vaccinated if you're not.

And check to see whether you need a booster shot if you are -- especially if you're going to be hanging around kids.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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3 comments
sherihahnenberg1999
sherihahnenberg1999

I had the Shot for the whooping cough and I have it 4 months later this is the 2nd time i have had it


katpscott
katpscott

There is no natural immunity to Whooping Cough! It is the 92% of unvaccinated adults in the nation that think they are vaccinated that spreading this. What we need to be telling everyone the shot they were told they could only have one of per lifetime, actually only lasts a few years! We should also them the Tdap, the booster they are getting now will also last only a few years, and someone will give them an actual length after they get more data. If you don't want to have Whooping Cough epidemics, most of the 92% of unvaccinated adults would have to get vaccinated so they quit spreading it around. Do you know how many people that is? It is 225,000,000! Yes, that is 225 million. Most babies that die get it from their parent or a family member. It is horrible for babies, kids and adults, causing cracked ribs and broken blood vessels and life long lung problems. If it comes back with a vengeance, you will understand why the vaccine was invented in the first place. My aunt died from it, my niece Chelsey's baby Kaliah died from it, how many more do we need to give? They used to quarantine whole households for weeks at a time before the vaccine was invented. I am not trying to tell people that do not believe in vaccination that they have to vaccinate. It is their choice. I would research every drug and decide on an individual basis if they were right for me or my family. Do not blindly believe anyone! There is a lot of false information and finger pointing on both sides of this issue. Listen to people you trust, preferably ones that have some credentials in the medical community. I do not want to get into that debate here at all. Research it and choose for yourself. I looked at all of the data. In fact my initial premise was to blame the anti vaccine people. I learned that is not the issue here at all. I am saying it is the 225 million unvaccinated adults causing these epidemics, and, if we want to be protected from epidemics like this one, most of us would have to be vaccinated against Whooping Cough or Pertussis every 5 years or so.   http://kennethaskorner.weebly.com/issues.html

achsel
achsel like.author.displayName 1 Like

One state with a 13% increase is an epidemic, then where is the cry of epidemic in Autism that has been increasing by 17%, every year, nationwide, since the mid 90s?  From 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 88 or 1 in 54 boys technically.   Is fearmongering the best you can do?  Is catching pertussis your worst fear, or perhaps your baby regressing and being diagnosed with Autism, a lifelong debilitating disability that is not going to go away, no lifelong immunity, no normal life.  The fact that infants are even susceptible to pertussis is thank you very much due to the vaccine itself.  Those that did not have the wild version cannot pass their vaccine immunity on to their infants, so thanks to the vaccine, your infant, those most at risk of complications, is now susceptible to pertussis.  Pertussis in infants was nearly unheard of before the vaccine.  And have you read all the new articles that the CDC says it has nothing to do with non-vaccinators and everthing to do with the fact that the pertussis ingredient in the DPT shots is no longer affective.  It either isn't strong enough and wearing off after a few short years, or no longer matches a potentially mutated vrius.  Oh the hubris of believing we are the masters without ever examining or understanding long term consequences.  Suddenly 6 shots of the exact same vaccine does not confer immunity.  How many more are they going to push before we push back.  What does the autism rate have to be before they finally listen to the mothers cries...1 in 5?  It is doubling every 4 years, so we don't have long to wait to see what will happen.  Makes you wonder what they are defending, it most certainly cannot be the health of our children, that is abysmal in America.  Hope we aren't holding our children up to the third world and saying "hey, you all want a piece of this"?  Laughable, I know.

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