Why Whooping Cough Is Becoming Resistant To Vaccine
Monday, February 11, 2013
Aired 2/11/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Dr. Mark Sawyer, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, pediatrician and infections disease specialist, UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. Member of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Joanne Faryon, KPBS Investigations Desk
A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows cases of whooping cough in the U.S. may be resistant to the vaccine. However, the Centers for Disease Control are reluctant to draw conclusions from the study.
Vaccine resistance could be one reason why cases of whooping cough have been increasing. Last year 18 Americans died from the disease.
San Diego County went through its worst whopping cough epidemic in 2010. KPBS was the first to report most of the people who got sick were already immunized. Scientists don't believe the new strain is more deadly. But they suspect the vaccine may not work as well against it. The new bug has already been identified in Japan, Finland, and France.