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Public Urged To Get Whooping Cough Vaccine

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Video published July 30, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Find out why whooping cough is now an epidemic in California.

— The death of a San Diego baby this week has prompted health officials to call for people of all ages to be immunized against whooping cough. Seven babies in California have died from whooping cough since January, 2010.

Pertussis cases reported in San Diego County from January through July 2009 a...
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Above: Pertussis cases reported in San Diego County from January through July 2009 and 2010. (SOURCE: SD County HHSA)

The illness affects children and adults, but is most serious with infants. It can cause violent bursts of coughing, sometimes followed by a “whoop” sound as those affected gasp for air.

Health officials have declared a whooping cough epidemic in California and statistics indicate this may be the worst outbreak in 50 years.

Epidemic curve of pertussis cases and deaths by month of onset in California,...
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Above: Epidemic curve of pertussis cases and deaths by month of onset in California, 2009-2010. Two more infant deaths attributed to pertussis were reported in July 2010, including a one-month old baby in SD County. (SOURCE: CDPH / SD County HHSA)

Elizabeth Rosenblum is a family practitioner at University of California, San Diego Medical Center.

Rosenblum has been treating older kids and even adults for whooping cough.

“I took care of a patient last year who was actually a physician he just could not stop coughing. He came in and it turned out it was pertussis. If you have a cough and it lasts for more then one month one out of five chance you have pertussis,” Rosenblum says.

And you could pass it on to infants. Who are most severely affected.

“The thing is with young babies they get so ill with pertussis and usually happens very quickly, 50 percent of them will end up in the hospital,” she says.

Video unavailable. Read transcript below.

Above: Dr. Elizabeth Rosenblum, a family practitioner, explains why it's important for adults to get vaccinated against whooping cough.

Most cases of whooping cough can be prevented with a vaccine. But babies under six months are too young to be fully immunized.

Recent studies have also suggested some mutated strains of the disease may be resistant to the vaccine, including a paper published in Emerging Infectious Diseases earlier this year.

Five of the six most recent cases in San Diego County affected vaccinated children.

Dr. Shane Crotty is a vaccine expert at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

“The bacteria isn’t the problem, the vaccine is not the problem, it's that people are not getting the vaccine,” Crotty says.

He says the whooping cough vaccine is not 100 percent effective but stops most people from getting sick. He says the bigger problem is that older children and adults aren’t getting boosters. Immunity to the disease does not last a lifetime.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children under the age of six receive five doses of the vaccine -– and since the California epidemic, state health officials are also recommending boosters for older kids and adults.

Science has been so successful at nearly eradicating so many childhood diseases, it's tough to convince a new generation some of these illnesses still pose a threat, Crotty says.

“Once nobody sees that disease around anymore, say polio or whooping cough or measles, you know you don’t see people with these diseases, people are less afraid,” he says.

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Avatar for user 'tybye'

tybye | July 30, 2010 at 10:49 a.m. ― 6 years, 8 months ago

What officials are not saying is that pertussis (whooping cough) outbreasks are cyclical and tend to peak every two to five years, regardless of the vaccination rate. Once again, this is a created hysteria to capitalize on fears of frightened parents and an opportunity to push vaccination on a trusting, underinformed public
Pertussis is most worrisome in children less than 3 months of age due to the small size of windpipe. As with any infection, the youngest children are at greatest risk of serious illness and rarely, death. IImportantly, pertussis is not always serious and rarely is it as 'deadly' as the pro-vaccine doctors and the evening news would have you believe. The hallmark of pertussis is a persistent cough which is frequently diagnosed and treated as "bronchitis". Unless you or (your children are SPECIFICALLY tested for pertussis with a nasal or throat swab, you may have had it and not known!
Your child can be fully vaccinated and still contract pertussis
Three vaccines are administered for whooping cough, from 2 to 6 months of age. Problems caused by the DTaP (pertussis) vaccines are real. If you search the VAERS database, you will see THOUSANDS of reports of children who were severely injured or died from the vaccine.
Please do your research DO NOT relay on our Gov't to provide us with the truth!

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Avatar for user 'Islander80'

Islander80 | June 24, 2011 at 2:35 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree with u tybye it is ridiculous how these big pharmazeutical companies scare the people using the media and disinformation to scare the majority of the public to poison there kids with vaccinations so they can fill there pockets with money. It is sad and dangerous the amount of unnecessary shots we let our children get before there 2. These shots are poison. I implore anybody that has kids to please research the vaccines you are allowing these medinazis are putting in your children you will be mad at what u find out. The best thing for our children is proper nutrition, healthy lifestyle.

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