According to news reports there has been an outbreak of whooping-cough in Suffolk County, Long Island. As of the end of November more than 200 cases in both children and adults had been reported.
What is whooping-cough (pertussis)?
Definition from the U.S. National Library of Medicine –
Pertussis, or whooping-cough, is an upper respiratory infection caused by the Bordetella pertussis or Bordetella parapertussis bacteria. It is a serious disease that can cause permanent disability in infants, and even death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control
“Before there was a vaccine, whooping-cough was one of the most common childhood diseases and a major cause of childhood deaths in the U.S. There are fewer cases today because there are both pertussis-only vaccines and combination vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. If you have whooping-cough, treatment with antibiotics may help if given early.”
Most of the cases in Suffolk County have been mild. The majority of those infected “with whooping-cough had been immunized, which health officials said may account for their milder illness.”
Information and recommendations regarding Whooping Cough:
For those who are concerned about the vaccine/autism link:
In 2010 the British medical journal the Lancet formally retracted a 1998 study that helped set off the debate over the safety of vaccines and whether they may be connected to later diagnoses of autism in children. Read about the retraction from the American Academy of Pediatrics, PBS, CNN, WebMD, and the Wall Street Journal.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has produced helpful information so that parents may look at results from studies and make informed decisions regarding immunizations.
posted by – Susan, Health Reference Services